How to Opt-out from T-Mobile: Selling your App Usage Data to Advertisers

T-Mobile’s advertising business offers a new way for marketers to pry into your app-using habits. Ad Exchanger reports that the un-carrier’s new program is called App Insights, and it’s now fully operational after spending a year in beta.

The program allows third-party marketers to buy T-Mobile customer data and centers around a critical piece of information that it has unique access to what apps you use.

Customer data is anonymized and pooled with others of similar interests and behaviors, so companies can’t buy a specific user’s app history. Still, it’s creepy. The company’s advertising segment touts this offering loud and clear on its website, with the phrase “Apps speak louder than words” splashed across the top of the page. It also invites prospective clients to “leverage app insights, the strongest indicator of consumer intent.” That’s gross. Thankfully, you can opt out.

T-Mobile offers an Android and iOS app called “Magenta Marketing Platform Choices” that allows you to see which companies have your data and opt out entirely. You can also use App Choices if you don’t want to, you know, download a T-Mobile app to opt out of T-Mobile app tracking. However, according to Ad Exchanger, iOS users are excluded from the program even if they’ve opted into app tracking.

This creepy behavior from carriers isn’t new, and it’s not likely to get better. With companies like Google and Apple allowing people to opt-out of tracking more easily, marketers are looking for different ways to peek into your online habits. Wireless carriers have eagerly jumped in to provide that information, and T-Mobile is only the latest to do so.

T-Mobile is the brand name used by some of the mobile communications subsidiaries of the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG in the Czech Republic (T-Mobile Czech Republic), Poland (T-Mobile Polska), the United States (T-Mobile U.S.), and by the former subsidiary in the Netherlands (T-Mobile Netherlands).

The T-Mobile brand was introduced in 1996, and subsidiaries previously used the name in other countries, including Austria (now Magenta), Croatia (now Hrvatski Telekom), Germany (now Deutsche Telekom), Hungary (now Magyar Telekom), Montenegro (now Crnogorski Telekom), North Macedonia (now Makedonski Telekom), Romania (now Telekom România), Slovakia (now Slovak Telekom), and the United Kingdom (now E.E. Limited).

Since 1999, Deutsche Telekom has held the holding company T-Mobile International AG for its mobile communications aides. From 2003 to 2007, T-Mobile International was  Deutsche Telekom’s services, supplementing ‘Broadband/Fixnet,’ ‘Business Customers,’ and ‘Group H.Q. and Shared Services. In 2009, Deutsche Telekom transformed its structure into a regional setup (Germany, Europe, U.S.). By combining its previously separated fixed and mobile subsidiaries to form integrated local businesses, T-Mobile International was merged into Deutsche Telekom AG.

When T-Mobile International AG lived, the holding company was based in Bonn, Germany. Its subsidiaries operated GSM-UMTS- and LTE-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, the company had financial stakes in mobile operators in Central and Eastern Europe.

Globally, T-Mobile International’s subsidiaries had approximately 230 million subscribers combined. It was the world’s thirteenth-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers, and the fourth-largest multinational after the U.K.’s Vodafone, India’s Airtel, and Spain’s Telefónica.

Germany’s first mobile-communications services were radiotelephone systems owned and operated by the state postal monopoly, Deutsche Bundespost. It launched the first-generation analog C-Netz (“C Network,” marketed as C-Tel), Germany’s first actual mobile phone network, in 1985.

West Germany reorganized Deutsche Bundespost and consolidated telecommunications into a new unit, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom on July 1, 1989. On July 1, 1992, it began to operate Germany’s first GSM network, along with the C-Netz, as its DeTeMobil subsidiary. The GSM 900 MHz frequency band was referred to as the “D-Netz,” and Telekom named its service D1; the private consortium awarded the second license (now Vodafone Germany) chose the name D2.[8] Deutsche Bundespost Telekom was renamed Deutsche Telekom AG on January 1, 1995, as part of phase two of the German communications reform.[6] This deregulation continued in November 1996, when D.T. was privatized and had the most significant European IPO, with the stock abbreviation ‘D.T. 1’.

In December 1999, T-Mobile International AG & Co. K.G. holding company was founded (later renamed T-Mobile International AG). In 2002, as D.T. consolidated its international operations, it anglicized the T-Mobil name to T-Mobile.

On July 5, 2005, Deutsche Telekom transformed its structure and adopted a regional setup (Germany, Europe, U.S.). Where available, the local mobile businesses were connected with the respective local wireline businesses to pursue the integrated business approach. In 2009 T-Mobile International AG was merged into Deutsche Telekom AG.

On August 16, 2021, T-Mobile revealed that a hacker had illegally accessed millions of customers’ private data, with an American hacker named John Binns later declaring responsibility. In addition, various class action lawsuits have been filed about the data breach.