Starting this week, Verizon will be rolling out a targeted advertising system it is calling "Verizon Selects." The basic idea is that customers can opt-in (thankfully) to a system that lets Verizon collect and use "location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data" to help target advertisements to you from their partners. The offers can come by way of text message, email or other mobile advertising.
This is the holy grail of advertising for carriers. Being able to offer companies such granular location and usage information means it can charge extra for those advertising placements. It's best handled in this way -- with an opt-in system -- but is a hard pill to swallow when you're already paying so much for your service every month. Those deals better be pretty darn good to be worth giving up so much personal information.
Source: Verizon News Center