Wired magazine says every packet you send through Verizon's cell network has a tracking number unique to you attached ( http://www.wired.com/2014/10/verizons-perma-cookie/ ). But heck, that's something only geeks would care about, right? Right??
That bloatware is also a fair-sized security hole. If an attacker can rely on an installed application to subvert your phone, she will.The best solution to this is a 3rd party build such as cyanogenmod. Installing it is the first thing I do to any purchased cellphone.
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