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T-Mobile Is Hawking Your App and Web History to Advertisers

T-Mobile Is Hawking Your App and Web History to Advertisers
Image for article titled Of Course T-Mobile Is Being Shady With Your App Downloads and Browsing History

Photo: Grand Warszawski (Shutterstock)

In yet another example of T-Mobile being The Worst with its customer’s data, the company announced a new money-making scheme this week: selling its customers’ app download data and web browsing history to advertisers.

The package of data is part of the company’s new “App Insights” adtech product that was in beta for the last year but formally rolled out this week. According to AdExchanger, which first reported news of the announcement from the Cannes Festival, the new product will let marketers track and target T-Mobile customers based on the apps they’ve downloaded and their “engagement patterns”—meaning when or how often they open and close particular apps.

These same “patterns” also include the types of domains a person visits in their mobile web browser. All of this data gets bundled up into what the company calls “personas,” which let marketers microtarget someone by their phone habits. One example that T-Mobile’s head of ad products, Jess Zhu, told AdExchanger was that a person with a human resources app on their phone who also tends to visit, say, Expedia’s website, might be grouped as a “business traveler.” The company noted that there’s no personas built on “gender or cultural identity”—so a person who visits a lot of, say, Christian websites and has a Bible app or two installed won’t be profiled based on that.

“App Insights transforms this data into actionable insights. Marketers can see app usage, growth, and retention and compare activity between brands and product categories,” a T-Mobile statement read.

T-Mobile (and Sprint, by association) certainly aren’t the only carriers pawning off this data; as Ars Technica first noted last year, Verizon overrode customer’s…

Read full article on gizmodo.com