After receiving criticism from advocates of consumer privacy, Verizon said that it will be giving its users the option to shut down the so-called "supercookies," which track the online activities of users.

The discovery of supercookies last year raised concerns as Verizon and AT&T were using them to keep track of the Internet browsing activities of its users. The data that is collected from these supercookies are used by Verizon to analyze the interests of their users, which in turn can be used by advertisers to release ads that are more skewed towards their target market.

Supercookies have widely been criticized due to several reasons. Because they are able to track the websites being visited and links being clicked by users for the collection of data to be used by advertisers, supercookies can also be abused by hackers to monitor the activities of potential victims. In addition, while regular cookies are easy to remove from browsers, supercookies are very hard to remove.

For Verizon, the only way to delete a supercookie is through unsubscribing from the Precision Market Insights program through the Wireless Web portal of the company, the mobile, or through a customer representative over the telephone.

The public outcry over supercookies, however, now has Verizon working on another way for users to remove themselves from the risks of supercookies, which are officially named Unique Identifier Headers.

"We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon," said Debra Lewis, a spokeswoman for Verizon.

Lewis also reminded the public that Verizon does not share information about their customers to third parties for advertising programs, in a bid to temper fears against supercookies.

Verizon has already previously tried to do so, telling users that the UIDH is changed regularly for privacy protection. The company also said that supercookies are not used to track online activities, nor does the company share such information to advertisers.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group, criticized the failure of Verizon to inform their users of the usage of supercookies in the first place, along with the difficulty for users to remove themselves from the program.

According to the EFF, research revealed that Turn, the advertising partner of Verizon, uses supercookies for the re-identification of users and the re-installation of cookies on browsers, even after users have chosen to opt out of targets ads or have removed the cookies.

"Setting a 'perma-cookie' like this destroys any sense of control or anonymity on the internet," the EFF added.

AT&T has stopped using supercookies for smartphone subscribers back in November. T-Mobile and Sprint do not use supercookies.

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