Verizon (aka our corporate overlords) may have settled with the FCC over its seemingly inescapable “supercookie” web tracking back in March, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The carrier was sending that information to a third party, Turn, which used it for ad purposes. What about its fate? Well, now we know: Turn has settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it deceived web surfers by tracking them even when they took steps to avoid monitoring. The company not only has to properly disclose the nature of its tracking, but offer an “effective” opt-out. In the “supercookie” days, the opt-out only worked for mobile web browsers, not ads within apps — that shouldn’t be a problem following the FTC order.
It’s not as ideal as an opt-in solution, but that may not be as much of an issue when Verizon’s FCC settlement required that it make its tracking strictly voluntary. No, the settlement won’t make anyone forget that Verizon prioritized ad dollars over users’ privacy. It will, however, give you a way to reduce the number of targeted ads in your life.