Secretive, unblockable Verizon perma-cookies kick up privacy concerns
Verizon Wireless has kicked up something of a privacy scandal in recent days over how it tampers with user’s web traffic sent via the company’s wireless network. Hoping to cash in on lucrative advertising dollars from mobile devices, Verizon inserts a unique string of letters and numbers into individual users’ HTTP requests that can be used to identify a specific device.
These strings, called a Unique Identifier Header (UIDH), are inserted into almost every web request a Verizon user makes on the company’s network, security researchers say. The UIDH is supposed to be used for Verizon’s advertising program. The carrier also told Wired it doesn’t use the UIDH to create profiles of its customers.