Last year privacy advocates discovered that Verizon has been inserting tracking codes into most of its mobile web traffic—so-called “zombie cookies.” Now the company plans to use those codes to target personalized ads served by AOL, which Verizon acquired earlier this year. But the company says it’s curbing the ability to use the codes beyond its corporate reach.
The company revealed its plans yesterday in a privacy notice spotted by non-profit news outfit ProPublica.
Typically, in order for a website to track its visitors it must leave a small file called a “cookie” on the user’s device. But cookies are tied to the user’s web browser. If they’re using a smartphone app instead of their web browser, it’s difficult to track that user. Plus users can block or delete these cookies.