It emerged yesterday that from next month, T-Mobile will sell web and app usage information to advertisers unless subscribers manually opt out. Google tells us today that this T-Mobile change to how data is used will not apply to Fi customers.
Starting on April 26, T-Mobile will share customer data with first- and third-parties to allow for more relevant ads. This includes your “web and device usage data (like the apps installed on your device) and interactions with [T-Mobile] products and services.”
Data is collected from the network and your device when you use our service. A small part of that data is used to build reports for other companies on things like usage and trends (e.g., 10,000 people went to a stadium). These reports don’t directly identify you.
The carrier says shared information is “not tied to your name or information that directly identifies you,” and that a mobile advertising identifier “or another unique identifier” is leveraged instead. All users will be entered into the “new program,” though they have the option to leave. Sprint previously had a similar advertising approach, but it was opt-in. Meanwhile, this upcoming policy is broadly in line with AT&T and Verizon.
According to Google, the upcoming change that T-Mobile is enacting won’t apply to Fi, which primarily uses that network. End user data of Google MVNO customers will not be shared with advertisers through that new carrier program. As a result, Fi customers do not have to take any additional steps to avoid, among other things, targeted ads.
Meanwhile, Fi customers concerned about their data have long been able to use the built-in VPN. It just exited beta on Android last month and is coming soon to iPhone.
More about Google Fi:
- Fi adds new Motorola phones, running introductory ‘Unlimited’ plan promo
- [Update: February patch] Pixel 5, 4a 5G now support Standalone (SA) 5G on T-Mobile, Google Fi
- Google delays Fi’s classic Hangouts shutdown, gives subscribers more time to switch to Messages
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