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Straightening Out a Ridiculous Situation, Verizon is NOT Remotely Removing Apps From Your Phone

Some clown in the tech world started pushing around a story yesterday, suggesting that Verizon is “entering user phones” to remove “apps it doesn’t like” without your permission.  He goes into some theory about how Big Red is “remotely” browsing through your phone’s app catalog and hand picking the ones it deems a problem so that it can then remove them.  He has clearly patched together 3 or 4 different stories to come up with this conclusion and is either 100% clueless or is trying to cause a stir because this story is completely false.

Let me just reassure you, that Verizon IS NOT REMOTELY REMOVING APPS FROM YOUR PHONE.

So what is actually going on?  Well, you all know that 4G LTE customers have been enjoying a free hotspot promotion for 2-3 months now, right?  Ok, so the newest HTC Thunderbolt update simply removed that promotion.  That’s it.  No apps have been removed, no remote accessing is going on, and they sure as hell aren’t doing anything without your permission.  The promotion came to an end on July 6, and through the latest update, they included a new service which asks users to sign up for a tethering plan.  Just. Like. Every. Other. Phone. Already. Does.

Sure, they’ve blocked access to tethering apps from the market, but they aren’t entering your phone to remove them if you already have them installed.  Talk about highly illegal?  The only company that has the ability to do that is Google, and they only do it in the most drastic of situations that involve something like malware.

So again, please ignore the story from the ill-informed tech writer who is trying to cause a stir.  Your privacy is safe – Verizon just wants you to pay for tethering now (which is an argument for another day).

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  • While I believe part of this article is referring to me, I’d like to say that it does not accurately reflect what I did write, which was sourced from a Business Insider article. I do apologize for my part in the mess as I did not question the viewpoints of that article properly. I’ve issued a retraction here: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/update-verizon-likely-not-policing-user-phones-and-removing-tethering-apps/

    I still do not believe it is much of a stretch for Verizon to issue OTA updates that remove known tethering apps from user devices. The carrier has already gotten Google to remove those apps from the Android Market and it has disabled tethering features on some phones via OTA updates (HTC ThunderBolt). There have been odd reports here and there of tethering apps suddenly not working in the last seven or eight months on different devices. This is partially why I believed this story had some plausibility. However, it appears [email protected]:twitter may have simply misread several oddly written stories from sources like DSL Reports. 

    A lot of people seem to have only read the headline, which does not at all explain what the full article did. I do not write articles to troll. If the story was true (it is not, as far as we know), Verizon would be stepping over the line and the issue would warrant as bold of a headline as any I could give it. 

    To reiterate though, my overtrust in a source and lack of ancillary research was dumb. Thank you for pointing it out.

  • JD11669

    The story is NOT entirely incorrect. I took the update and Verizon DID remove an app from my phone. I had the My Verizon App that didnt come from the market.  It was removed during the update.  They then added a My Verizon App that looks real close to it but is different.  They also changed all my tones for text, calls, and alerts.  A co-workers update actually changed her text alert to the DROIDDDDDD sound.  We were both astounded at that one since she never had the sound on her phone before.  As I said NOT entirely…as the story says….I did have to give permission, and I did the update..not some remote computer.

  • When is verizon going to start remotely removing motoblur and replacing it with AOSP? 

    come on lets get our priorities in order here.

    Step 1: Conspiracy
    Step 2: place advertisements on your website
    Step 3: mass release the conspiracy
    step 4: ????
    Step 5: PROFIT!

  • Anonymous

    “Sure, they’ve blocked access to tethering apps from the market”

    *cough* barnacle *cough*

  • Anonymous

    I have not even heard about this HOWEVER…..

    I and a friend of mine have had some apps disappear off our phones recently. We have no explanation as to where they went.  

  • Anonymous

    I have not even heard about this HOWEVER…..

    I and a friend of mine have had some apps disappear off our phones recently. We have no explanation as to where they went.  

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    I can see this guys response now…

    “Okay Brand, Michael Jackson didn’t come over to my house to use the bathroom……… BUT HIS SISTER DID!”

  • Verizon has recently implemented an IQ reduction program into all of its phones.  At Verizon’s request, the phone is capable of reducing the user’s IQ and transferring it to Verizon.  Once this process is complete, Apple tries to sell you an iPhone.

  • Mattcrouse0509

    Has anyone else not performed the update on the Thunderbolt and continued using the hotspot?  I still receive the limited time notification.  

    • Chefmg

      me I still can use the hotspot …I never updated the phone since the first day
       I’m on the factory build from day one and also have never had one problem with the phone

  • Anonymous

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, GrabPenny.com

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  • And in other news my teacher told me aliens are watching me…this was a dumb story droid life your better than this…this is somthing chris Chavez would post and he is a tool

  • Anonymous

    They removed my app that told me when the Bionic is finally coming out.

    • Anonymous

      The app contained malicious code that caused an infinite loop (of speculation).

  • OMG!!!!1 OMG!!!11!! FOR SERIOUS?!?  The maker of the operating system i am using on my phone has the ability to remove things from my phone regardless of if it actually damages the phone or leaks my information. I cant believe this, this has to stop. STOP TRYING TO HELP ME!!!!


  • Custom Colonel

    Two things.  1) Only an uninformed idiot would actually believe that VZW was doing this.  2) Stop bitching about tethering.

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  • Anonymous

    How do I get a job writing sh—- stuff that I just make up for the hits?  They issued a “correction” (they changed one line to admit that an update was involved” but kept all the inaccurate information in.  Must be nice not to have to worry about things like facts when writing.

  • Thisguy

    Only iphone users would believe that garbage anyway…

    • Anonymous

      Only difference is that Apple does access your personal location and other data! 


    • Custom Colonel

      Yet this article talks about Android morons like yourself who believed it. 

  • Justin Moseley

    Don’t know about everyone else but my TBolt hasn’t received the push update yet and I’m still happily able to tether for free.

    • Justin – I guess we’re two of the lucky ones.  I even tried to pull the update, and it wouldn’t work.  I’m still using my hotspot, and will until they decide to get around to me.

  • Jrocker23

    Thats funny, my access to the mobile hotspot was removed on july 7, before the update was pushed out. It gave me the message and everyting about signing up. This was around 2am on the 7th

  • Carlito Pr787

    The like button above the comment box should be replaced by +1 …. just saying

    • Carlito Pr787

      And since there’s a thumbsdown maybe -1 ??? Lol

  • Non story.

  • Sam

    Here is the article, written by JEFFREY VAN CAMP, http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/verizon-is-now-entering-user-phones-and-removing-apps-it-doesnt-like/

    • That’s true, but I was not the original. Here was my source: http://www.businessinsider.com/verizon-crippling-phones-2011-7 
      I’ve left a separate comment on the situation in this thread as well.

  • Fattie McDoogles

    He wanted a story… so he made one up… welcome to the world of news.

  • Ray

    blah blah what a tard

  • I’m not really sure how someone would think this is logical. haha

  • commonsense

    So if your rooted that means you didn’t get the update so you still have the promotion of unlimited teathering? Or do rooted users just use wireless feather from third party apps?( for free teathering)

  • Bewara2009

    I hope Verizon doesn’t remove my porn app. 😉

  • Shaydave10

    II haven’t applied the update so my WiFi is still free 🙂

    • Wifi does not cost. Hot spot on the on the other hand does….

  • I want my apps back. Tell Verizon to give them back. They took everything! I hit factory reset cause someone told me it would make them think my phone was at a factory and they wouldn’t hack me.. but when it turned back on, everything was gone. WTH VZW! Give me back my apps, I know they were free but I want them back. Can anyone help me? Pleeeeeaaaassseeeeeee

    • Fattie McDoogles

      Well played sir. Well played. lol

    • Genius 😛

    • djembeman

      You are misunderstanding what a Factory Reset does. It wipes out data and apps that are in internal phone storage. Unless I’m missing your sarcasm or something. Some phones will automatically redownload your apps after a factory reset, but some will not. If yours didn’t, you have to go back into the market and redownload your apps one by one.

      • Yeah, i believe there was a ton of sarcasm there lol. Can never tell online, i hate it sometimes. 

  • Courtney Hodshon

    Wish they’d remotely remove city id and vzw navigator and the rest of the bloatware and install 2.3 on my x2

    • Deansplace53

      Ya, My Thoughts Are Just The Same As Yours Courtney!!!!!!!!  It’s Getting Way Out Of Hand With This “Bloatware”  Who Want’s It??   NOT ME…….

    • Deansplace53

      Ya, My Thoughts Are Just The Same As Yours Courtney!!!!!!!!  It’s Getting Way Out Of Hand With This “Bloatware”  Who Want’s It??   NOT ME…….

  • brayden

    I still haven’t gotten my thunderbolt update to work.

    • Warlike1919

      I finally got mines at 2 am on wednesday

  • Anonymous

    retarded lookout mobile security news post in 3,2,1…

  • JD

    Verizon is however remotely installing new, useless, apps on your device as part of updates so they can rake in advertising dollars from third parties such as EA. On top of that they won’t let you remove them.

    • Kris Brandt

      Which is why you root.  Poor saps that can’t, hooray devs!

  • T Hall

    All I want to know is why no one has been able to get a pic of the billboard in New Jersey…

    • Anonymous


      • T Hall

        Look @ droid_life on twitter.  They kindly asked someone to try to snag a shot of the billboard.  It was the third tweet on July 13.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to know who did this… K’s too classy to reveal that info tho… haha

  • Kevoskee

    Rumor has it that they are removing more money from people pockets

    • Anonymous

      Now this, is arguably true. 😛

      • Anonymous

        I was hoping for a link to the ill informed tech writer to flame, but all well..

      • royalewithcheese

        any word on the complaint filed against verizon on tethering and who filed the complaint?

        • jason6g

          sadly that class action suit / fcc filing or whatnot will probably never see the light of day for a few years. by the time verizon’s lawyers get done playing their little legal games to delay it, they will have concocted another way to ban/restrict tethering.

    • Haaaaaaaaa. You got it. 

    • Win. 

    • Larry

      True, but only for those who are willing to pay for it.

  • guitarbedlam

    Sounds like he should work for Fox News

    • Illegitimi non Carborundum

      Oh, yeah, they are the only news agency that is full of shit.  Get real
      and save your crap for the rest of your left bent clowns.

      • Anonymous

        Nerve=struck LOL

        • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        I think he was refereing to wire tapping phones and hacking personal

  • GimmeAThumbsUPPlease

    Never heard of this until now.