back to article Privacy purists prickle at T-Mobile US plan to proffer people's personal web, app pursuits to ad promoters

In the wake of a T-Mobile US privacy policy change that will automatically share US users' web and mobile app data with marketers, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Society, and others, have published an open letter asking internet service providers to do more to promote privacy, particularly as it …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "benefits of personalized advertising"

    What benefits? Let's see:

    Telling me where I can buy more of something I've just bought? Nope.

    Telling me about suppliers I have used? Nope.

    Telling me about stuff I have already looked like and decided not to buy? Nope.

    Telling me about stuff a bit like any of the above but not actually like any of them at all? Nope.

    Telling me what other people bought after buying what I just looked at? Nope.

    Telling me whats "Trending"? Nope

    Telling me that People in (close geographical location) are going mad for (dumb item or product that is so shit it can't sell on its own merit)? Nope.

    It goes on and on.

    Personalised ads are an utter irrelevance. I repeat: an utter irrelevance.

    Dear T-Mobile.

    Piss off and die.

    Yours with extreme prejudice.

    1. Shadow Systems
      Pint

      *Standing ovation*

      *Hands you a pair of pints & slaps you on the back enthusiasticly*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *Standing ovation*

        Awwwwww, gosh. Thanks.

        OP

    2. idiot taxpayer here again
      Pint

      @A/C

      I wish I could give you a couple of thousand upvotes. You have hit on every one of my advertising hates.

      I could not have written it better myself. Frankly, if I had written it, I doubt I could come close to your surgical precision.

      Cheers… Ishy

      1. 0laf Silver badge
        Flame

        100% of people don't want ads.

        But they didn't ask that question.

        I've used adblockers, script blockers, tracking blockers etc etc for so long now that when I see the web without them it's a shock.

        I feel like Roddy Piper in "They Live" putting on the special glasses.

  2. doublelayer Silver badge

    CCPA time?

    T-Mobile clearly does business in California and has enough customers and revenue to hit the limits specified in the CCPA. For anyone having an account with them and living in California, now is the time to prepare the requests and complaints to fire at them. Maybe the enforcement of CCPA will end up working better than has the enforcement of GDPR. I won't hold my breath, though.

  3. Woodnag Silver badge

    They don't want me to opt-out

    Privacy settings won't load. Keep being told to try again later.

    Funnily enough, loading the direct URL (after logging in) works fine. Hmm.

    https://my.t-mobile.com/account/profile/privacy_notifications/advertising

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: They don't want me to opt-out

      Call them directly & request your data not be collected, sold, nor given to third parties.

      They will say you could do it yourself via the site. Say the site isn't accessible. They'll say to install the app. Tell them the app isn't accessible either. You will be put on hold for a long time while their "slow computers take forever to get anything done" (yeah, because so many folks are calling to tell you to fuck off), but stick with them until they verify that you've been opted out of their scam.

      Hang up, log in to the site, & try to see if what they claimed is true. If you can't verify then wait a day or two before calling back to make sure. If you can log in & the privacy bits still show you as having opted in, call them back immediately to do it all over again.

      I spent ten minutes shy of an hour (1425Hrs PST to 1510Hrs PST today) doing just this. It took three calls to get it done, but now they can't use my PII as fodder to fatten their wallets.

      Enjoy.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: They don't want me to opt-out

        It’s worse than that. You can’t change the settings from the app, it redirects you to the website in your browser. In my case, it took some time to get the website to admit that I had the correct password. Allegedly it’s fixed now.

  4. Agamemnon

    Repeatedly it's been proven...

    That anonymous identifiers Can be linked back to an individual. This blatant blathering that it cannot it getting on my last nerve.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: Repeatedly it's been proven...

      That pseudo-anon-ID is called your phone number, account number, or your FN+LN+Last-four-of-your-ID-number, so "un-anonymizing" it back to you is obscenely easy.

      That's why I use fake names, fake address', fake ID numbers, & throw away prepaid debit cards to pay for it all.

      Signed, Anne O'Nymoose. =-)p

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Repeatedly it's been proven...

        Dear Anne O'Nymoose.

        A Møøse once bit my sister. No realli! She was Karving her initials øn the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink".

        Regards.

        Ralph The Wonder Llama

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Time for US T-Mobile users to change networks at the first opportunity. There are good reasons to buy your phone separate from the network contract and T-Mobile have just demonstrated one of them.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Move to whom?

      All the other major cell service providers do it too. AT&T freely gives everything about you to the government upon whose teat they are firmly attached. Sprint is now part of T-Mobile as is MetroPCS. Verizon does it as well, they just don't let anyone know about it anywhere except buried in the depths of a zillion page TOS contract no Human can ever hope to read in a single lifespan. Some of the PAYG providers might not do it, but like Verizon, there's no way to tell without reading the mind-numbingly-long TOS contract.

      I'm not trying to be flippant, I'm seriously asking whom to move to in order to escape such data harvesting?

      *Hands you a pint to help your concentration*

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Move to whom?

        Move to whom indeed.

        In America, your choices are exactly the same only with a different wrapper and brand name.

        In everything for that matter.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Headmaster

      As a T-Mobile customer myself, all I can say is that the other networks seem to be worse, and all the competition has been gobbled up, so choices are few and far between. Of the major carriers, T-Mobile seems to have the best customer service. Also, when you buy a phone from T-Mobile, there's no contract: you can choose to pay for the phone on an installment plan, and if you leave T-Mobile, you obviously owe the remainder of the phone cost, but there's no penalty for early departure, and it's really straightforward to register a phone you bought separately. I'm definitely not saying this move doesn't suck or that I'm not disappointed in T-Mobile, mind you.

  6. cd

    Don't forget the MVNO's, they may also be involved in this scheme. Was just easing away from Mint Mobile anyway, noticed they now offer unlimited for the same price as my 10 GB. Now, thanks Reg, I know where the "unlimited" is coming from. Not that they offered it to me when I was an already hooked customer.

  7. JDPower Bronze badge

    "Moz urges ISPs told to commit to opt-in data usage"

    Is it just me that can't make that sentence scan? Should that 'told' be in there?

  8. m-k

    AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    and when they do, it will go like this: AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon take privacy of their customers extremely seriously to ensure their anonymity is protected. Next!

    by the way, I assume that, by now, all the spokesperson functions have been outsourced to script-operated bots, and in that context they would fire 'irrelevant non-reply No 1" (No 1, cause it can be used in reply to majority of 'issues', ranging from 'hackers' customer data hack, to telcos' customer data hack. One answer to rule them all).

  9. Smirnov

    "Moz urges ISPs told to commit to opt-in data usage"

    No sympathies for TMO but Mozilla should follow it's own advice with Firefox and it's enabled-by-default (opt-out) telemetry.

  10. User McUser
    Headmaster

    Grammatic Ambiguity

    including information we learn from your web and device usage data (like the apps installed on your device)

    Are they using "like" to mean "similar to" or "such as"?

    Or to put it more directly, are they tracking the shit I do the same way that the apps I use track me or is my phone blabbing to my service provider about what apps I have installed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grammatic Ambiguity

      "Yes."

      (That's both an honest answer to the question, and a bit of a troll...)

  11. Ceyarrecks

    !PSA! tmob is BOILERPLATE

    as a Sprint WISP user, I used my credentials to log into tmob account page and the bottom of the page (https://www.t-mobile.com/dns) displays a most REVEALING line of text: "Do Not Sell My Personal Information on websites or apps where you are logged in with this account [x]" Note how specific it is? Note how useless their statement is based on that line of text? is anyone surprised?

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