In 2014, Verizon was caught sneaking "supercookies" onto its customers' computers — these are tracking cookies that bypassed the normal cookie system to surveil Verizon users and target ads to them.
After a 15 month investigation, Verizon settled with the FCC for $1.35M. The company says customers don't need to worry about future privacy invasions because it "made several changes to our advertising programs that have provided consumers with even more options."
The use of these 'supercookies' was uncovered in late 2014, and following widespread backlash Verizon made it possible for customers to opt out of the technology in early 2015. In addition to paying the $1.35 million fine, the FCC will also require Verizon to notify customers and get their permission before sharing the tracking data with third-party companies and to companies within the organization, including AOL.
"Consumers care about privacy and should have a say in how their personal information is used, especially when it comes to who knows what they're doing online," FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in a statement.
Verizon Settles With FCC for $1.35 Million Over Use of Supercookies