T-Mobile US Inc. will automatically enroll its phone subscribers in an advertising program informed by their online activity, testing businesses’ appetite for information that other companies have restricted.
The No. 2 U.S. carrier by subscribers said in a recent privacy-policy update that unless they opt out it will share customers’ web and mobile-app data with advertisers starting April 26. For example, the program could help advertisers identify people who enjoy cooking or are sports enthusiasts, the company said.
T-Mobile’s new policy will also cover Sprint customers acquired through the carriers’ 2020 merger. Sprint had previously shared similar data only from customers who opted into its third-party ad program.
A T-Mobile spokeswoman said the changes give subscribers advertising that aligns with their interests. “We’ve heard many say they prefer more relevant ads so we’re defaulting to this setting,” she said. (See below how to change your account settings.)
T-Mobile ended 2020 with more than 60 million phone users under its main brand and more than 20 million customers on prepaid plans. The company said the changes wouldn’t apply to business accounts or children’s lines.