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T-Mobile to share customers’ web, mobile-app data with advertisers unless they opt out

T-Mobile will start sharing customers’ web and mobile app data with companies for third-party advertising next month unless users opt-out, it said in a recent privacy policy update. 

T-Mobile’s update will go into place April 26 and it will allow information the provider learns about users from their web and device usage to be used for targeted advertising.

The company’s privacy policy was updated last month, but The Wall Street Journal first reported on the update Tuesday. 

T-Mobile’s plans come as the company brings together users from Sprint, under the 2020 merger. The new policy will also cover Sprint customers, the Journal reported. 

“We’ve heard many say they prefer more relevant ads so we’re defaulting to this setting,” a T-Mobile spokeswoman told the paper. 

AT&T automatically enrolls wireless subscribers in a basic ad program that pools them into groups, and Verizon similarly pools subscriber data before sharing with advertisers, the Journal reported. 

As T-Mobile makes the update to share more information with third party advertisers, big tech companies are facing pressure from regulators and privacy advocates to do the opposite and further protect user data. 

Apple is set to launch an app-tracking transparency feature in early spring that would require apps to get users permission before tracking them across websites. 

Google last week said it would not replace its tracking features used for personalized ads once it phases out its existing method using third-party cookies. Google’s update, however, does not cover mobile apps and still leaves open the option for advertisers to reach users with relevant ads by “clustering” groups with similar interests.