Use of traffic data by mobile operators

Inventory of traffic data use and analysis of the corresponding data protection policies

The communication of mobile phones with the network operator leaves a data track in the form of so-called traffic data. With the help of these, valuable information about the everyday habits of consumers can be obtained.

Among other things, this traffic data can be used to create an approximate profile of mobility and identify frequently visited places such as places of residence or work. Since this information is very meaningful, the Austrian legislator has laid down special rules for this data in the Austrian Telecommunications Act. These data may only be analysed for specific purposes and must subsequently be deleted or made anonymous. The analysis for marketing purposes requires the customer's consent.

The aim of this short study is to investigate the use of traffic data by Austrian mobile phone operators and to analyse the corresponding data protection policies. A description of the legal framework of telecommunications, data protection and other relevant laws shows possible discrepancies and regulatory deficits.

Our smartphone knows exactly where we are (Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash)
Duration
08/2018 - 09/2018
Funding