New submitter ferro lad
sends a story about Verizon's so-called supercookie
, a unique identifier they add to web traffic going across their network to help advertisers target their ads better. A new article at Slate demonstrates how Verizon could fix the identifier
so that ad companies would have a harder time misusing it — something they've already been shown to do
. "...with just a tiny amount of effort, Verizon could maintain its current business while substantially preventing the misuse of its UID headers." Of course, for privacy-conscious users, the ability to get rid of them altogether would be preferable. Fortunately, Verizon now says users will soon have the ability to opt out of the identifiers
. Previously, users could opt out of having their data shared with advertisers, but the unique identifier itself remained with their web traffic. It's not a complete solution — the tracking should be opt-in to begin with — but it's a step in the right direction.