by Brandon Butler
T-Mobile to start spying on customer’s browsing so they can sell more ads 3/9/2021

Drew FitzGerald for The Wall Street Journal:

T-Mobile US Inc. will automatically enroll its phone subscribers in an advertising program informed by their online activity, testing businesses’ appetite for information that other companies have restricted.

The No. 2 U.S. carrier by subscribers said in a recent privacy-policy update that unless they opt out it will share customers’ web and mobile-app data with advertisers starting April 26. For example, the program could help advertisers identify people who enjoy cooking or are sports enthusiasts, the company said. […]

A T-Mobile spokeswoman said the changes give subscribers advertising that aligns with their interests. “We’ve heard many say they prefer more relevant ads so we’re defaulting to this setting,” she said.

Bullshit. Nobody asked for their cell phone carrier to spy on their web browsing and steal their data at the DNS level so it could be sold to advertisers. The US already overpays for cell service due to a lack of regulation and monopoly status among the carriers; now we have to deal with having our web browsing spied to sell ads?

Here’s what you’re going to do. Call T-Mobile and opt out. (You can do so in their app, but don’t install their app, that just opens another avenue to your data for them.) I would definitely call them and let them know you don’t appreciate being spied on. I would also highly consider flat out canceling your T-Mobile service or porting your number to a carrier like Mint. (With Mint, you might pay $30/month for unlimited 4G/5G data because you’re pre-paying for the data up to a year in advance, and they offer a good free trial so you can test your signal and data speeds with them before you sign up.)

Next, you’re going to highly consider signing up for a VPN service. The app from Cloudflare is a good start (also available for macOS, Android, and Windows). Nord and Proton are other, more advanced VPN choices. Do your research so you know what works best for you.

Finally, if you really want to get involved, you need to reach out to your elected officials and say consumers need basic privacy and data protection laws, and we can start by making opt-in the default by law.