As T-Mobile explains on its website, some of the data will be used to “build reports for other companies on things like usage and trends,” but these reports won’t directly identify any customers. T-Mobile will also use some of the data it collects for targeted advertising, though the carrier doesn’t offer any additional details.
This new program affects both T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers, but no matter which entity your plan comes from, you can choose to opt out before the changes take effect on April 26th, 2021. Here’s are the steps:
- T-Mobile: Open the T-Mobile app and go to MORE > Advertising & Analytics > Use my data to make ads more relevant to me. Tap on the toggle to turn it off. You can also visit T-Mobile.com/signin from your browser and click on My account > Profile > Privacy and Notifications > Advertising & Analytics > Use my data to make ads more relevant to me. You should see the same toggle.
- Sprint: Login into your account on Sprint.com, then go to My Account > Preferences > All about my account > Manage advertising and analytics preferences > Use my data to make ads more relevant to me > click the OFF button to stop T-Mobile from harvesting your data.
- Metro by T-Mobile: In the MyMetro app, go to Account > Network and Location Settings > Use my data to make ads more relevant to me > tap the toggle. You can also do this on the website (https://www.MetroByT-Mobile.com/iba), but you need to be on a mobile browser.
“For most of how we use your data, nothing’s changed,” T-Mobile says. “However, starting April 26, 2021, T‑Mobile will begin a new program that uses some data we have about you, including information we learn from your web and device usage data (like the apps installed on your device) and interactions with our products and services for our own and 3rd party advertising, unless you tell us not to.”
T-Mobile claims that the data it collects “is not tied to your name or information that directly identifies you,” but as one lawyer tells the Journal, tracing that data back to you is anything but difficult.
“It’s hard to say with a straight face, ‘We’re not going to share your name with it,’” explained Aaron Mackey, a lawyer for San Francisco-based digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “This type of data is very personal and revealing, and it’s trivial to link that deidentified info back to you.”