T-Mobile will soon automatically enroll customers in a new ad targeting program

Renovated Headquarters
(Image credit: T-Mobile)

The US telecom T-Mobile has revealed that it will soon start automatically enrolling its customers in a new program that will use their web and device usage data for its own as well as third-party advertising.

First spotted by The Wall Street Journal, the mobile carrier shared details on its new program in a privacy policy update sent out to its customers. The program will go into effect beginning at the end of April but T-Mobile customers do have the option to opt out of it.

T-Mobile provided further details on the program and what kind of user data will be used in a privacy notice on its site, saying:

“For most of how we use your data, nothing’s changed. However, starting April 26, 2021, T-Mobile will begin a new program that uses some data we have about you, including information we learn from your web and device usage data (like the apps installed on your device) and interactions with our products and services for our own and 3rd party advertising, unless you tell us not to. When we share this information with third parties, it is not tied to your name or information that directly identifies you. Instead, we tie it to your mobile advertising identifier or another unique identifier.” 

Targeted advertising

In addition to T-Mobile customers, the new program will automatically enroll all of the users that came over to T-Mobile after its merger with Sprint last year as well as Metro by T-Mobile customers. Ironically, Sprint used to allow its customers to opt into sharing their data with advertisers while T-Mobile is only giving them the choice to opt out.

While T-Mobile's new program has changed a lot about the way in which it shares user and device data, the company reassured customers that it does not use or share Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) or precise location data for advertising unless its customers give it express permission to do so. At the same time, the mobile carrier does not use any information from T-Mobile for Business, T-Mobile for Government, T-Mobile prepaid or Assurance Wireless accounts for advertising.

T-Mobile users that want to opt out of the company's new advertising program can do so by opening the T-Mobile app, tapping on the “More” tab, going to the “Advertising & Analytics” section and switching off the toggle next to “Use my data to make ads more relevant to me”.

Although customers can opt out sharing their device and usage data with T-Mobile, they can also switch to one of the carrier's pre-paid or business plans if they are concerned that the new program will affect their privacy.

Via Engadget

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.