T-Mobile happily sells customer app habits to advertisers

T-Mobile’s ad business offers marketers a new way to dig into your app usage habits. ad exchange reports that the non-operator’s new program is called App Insights, and it’s now fully operational after spending a year in beta. The program allows third-party marketers to purchase T-Mobile customer data and is built around one key piece of information to which it has unique access: the apps you use.

Customer data is anonymized and aggregated with others with similar interests and behaviors, so companies can’t buy a specific user’s app history. Still, it’s creepy. The company’s advertising segment touts this offer loud and clear on its website, with the phrase “Apps speak louder than words” splashed across the top of the page. It also urges potential customers to “leverage app insights, the best indicator of consumer intent.” It’s disgusting. Fortunately, you can opt out.

Ah, that old adage.
Image: T-Mobile Advertising Solutions

T-Mobile offers an android and iOS app called “Magenta Marketing Platform Choices” which allows you to see which companies have your data and opt out entirely. You can also use Choice of applications if you don’t want to, you know, download a T-Mobile app to turn off T-Mobile app tracking. According Ad Exchange, iOS users are excluded from the program even if they have opted in to app tracking.

This kind of creepy carrier behavior is nothing new and unlikely to improve. With companies like Google and Apple making it easier for people to opt out of tracking, marketers are looking for different ways to peek into your online habits. Wireless carriers have been quick to provide this information, and T-Mobile is just the latest to do so.

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