PSA: T-Mobile will start sharing customer info with advertisers unless you opt out

Technology

T-Mobile will soon put a new privacy policy into effect that will allow it to share certain kinds of customer information with third-party advertisers. Starting on April 26th, 2021, all customers will be automatically opted in to the new program, as spotted by The Wall Street Journal. Customers who don’t want to participate will need to manually opt out using their accounts’ privacy tools.

T-Mobile’s new policy is no different than AT&T or Verizon’s. This is an about-face for former Sprint customers, however. T-Mobile acknowledges in its announcement of the policy change that Sprint offered a similar opt-in service rather than an opt-out one.

The new policy includes the same kind of provisions as AT&T and Verizon for sharing user data with third-party marketers in the name of providing more relevant advertising. The companies say that data they share doesn’t reveal individual customers’ identities and that they don’t share information that’s associated with a child’s device or service.

As harmless as the carriers make this practice sound, it’s something people are growing increasingly wary of. As a response, companies like Google are working to make their data-gathering and sharing practices less intrusive.

If you’re not wild about your carrier sharing data about you with advertisers, it’s easy enough to opt out of these services. AT&T customers can opt out of third-party data sharing by accessing their account’s privacy controls. Similarly, Verizon customers can log in to My Verizon to opt out of what it calls “Relevant Mobile Advertising.”