Verizon offering free rewards in exchange for your privacy

Verizon Selects

Verizon has launched a new rewards program offering free memberships to Apple Music, HBO NOW and other perks when you sign up for a Verizon Up account using the free My Verizon app.

Verizon Up members earn a credit for every $300 they spend on their Verizon bill or other purchases made through the carrier. Credits can then be spent on perks, such as four free months of Apple Music, JetBlue discounts or a free subscription to HBO NOW. Verizon also promises there will be six new reward options each month, and entertainment rewards for special events such as the 2018 Pro Bowl.

But with all great deals there is always a catch...

Verizon customers have noticed enrolling in Up also enrolls you in Verizon Selects.

From the Verizon Up Program Terms:

By enrolling in Verizon Up ("Up"), you are accepting the Up Program Terms, and agree that you

  1. Are at least 18 years old
  2. Read and understood these Program Terms
  3. Enrolled in Verizon Selects
  4. Are able to download the new My Verizon App on your mobile device
  5. Are a resident of the United States (excluding the US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)

Verizon Selects is a targeted advertising program that sells your cell phone habits with other companies. The official Verizon Selects agreement page includes a long list of information that will be mined and shared. The list includes things like Information about "your device location," "web addresses of sites you visit," "postal and email address" and more.

Even if you have nothing to hide and don't care about Verizon tracking your web habits, you should consider the value of your personal information before giving it away. Consumer information is the new big currency, and you shouldn't just give it up for a few free months of Apple Music. Hiding the Verizon Selects requirement in the fine print is not only a sneaky way of tricking you into turning over your information to Verizon, but they're also ripping you off. This isn't a typical rewards program to thank you for using their service, it is a cheap way to make big money reselling something valuable that only you own.

Make sure you always read the fine print before agreeing to any new deals and reward programs, and make sure you think carefully before trading your personal information so you can watch Game of Thrones for free. It's a great show, but it's not that great.

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