Verizon Joining Geo-Ads Program

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Verizon announced Monday that it will be participating in a program that allows advertisers to target users based on location.

"We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participated in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address," Verizon wrote in an email message sent to its customers Monday.

This means that if you use Verizon to access the Web--by using Verizon's wireless network or because your Internet Service Provider happens to be Verizon FIOS--you'll soon start seeing ads that are a little more personal. In other words, they'll be personalized to your location, and you will see ads that are relevant to your city or perhaps even neighborhood.

Verizon is making the new advertising opt-out--users will automatically be enrolled in the program unless they login to their Verizon account and check a box saying they do not want to participate. Verizon notes on its FAQ page that, even if you do opt-out of the program, you "may still receive website advertisements that are delivered based on other technologies unrelated to this program."

The program uses a Verizon subscriber's local address to determine whether they reside in an area that a particular advertiser is trying to reach. Addresses aren't shared with advertisers, Verizon says, and thus advertisers will not know where subscribers live.

Participants in the geographically-based advertising program will see ads on the websites they visit the same way they see them now, Verizon explained. The difference will be, however, that some of the ads may be more relevant to them because they are from local businesses.

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