There may be a way around Verizon's "permacookie" after all. The New York Times is reporting that the company will soon give users the chance to opt out of the tracking method, as part of the companies larger opt-out features. Users will still have to actively turn off the recently revealed tracking code, and Verizon won't stop using the method entirely, but providing an opt-out gives privacy-conscious users an important way to avoid what many had seen as an unnecessarily intrusive measure. "We listen to our customers and provide them the ability to opt out of our advertising programs," a Verizon representative said in a statement. "We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon."
Known officially as a UIDH or Unique Identifier Header, the tracking tag was discovered on Verizon and AT&T networks in October, resulting in major objections from privacy groups. The UIDH gives carriers an unprecedented view into the traffic moving through their networks, and companies like Turn are already using that data into profitable marketing information. In November, AT&T stopped using the UIDH entirely, saying its testing was complete and it had no further plans to deploy the system on its network. That leaves Verizon as the only carrier still deploying the measure, even with the opt-out in place.