Principles and code of conduct on handling of customer mobile data detailed by the GSMA

Guidelines and codes of conduct have been detailed by the GSMA as part of its Mobile Privacy Principles.

The principles will primarily focus on the way that mobile consumers' privacy should be respected and protected when consumers use mobile applications and services that access, use or collect their personal information. They will be used to develop more detailed guidelines to address specific consumer concerns, such as the use of private data or location details by applications.

According to the GSMA, the principles pave the way for the development of clear and simple ways for customers to manage their information and their privacy on mobile phones. One key principle relates to ‘transparency and notice', regarding being open and honest with customers about what personal information is being collected and why.

The principles also cover issues such as the need to provide consumers with control over how their personal information is used and by whom and ensuring only a minimum amount of data for a given service is collected and that it is retained no longer than necessary.

Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer at the GSMA, said: “In many regions of the world, consumers' first internet experience will be via mobile and we believe it is right to address mobile privacy challenges early to ensure the protection of consumers' privacy. We warmly welcome stakeholders from the broader ICT industry to join us in conversation and partnership on this work.

“The Mobile Privacy Principles are a significant first step but addressing mobile privacy is an ongoing challenge that requires the support and collaboration of the wider internet industry, civil society and regulators, working together, if we are to deliver real protection for consumers. This is a call to action to the broader industry.”

Gareth Maclachlan, COO, AdaptiveMobile, said: “For us, having user data is another part of the key trust in the network and our view is that operators have a unique opportunity to build a trusted, secure marketplace, unlike the internet. Mobile operators know that building a relationship can make sure that personal data does not leak out and that customers know that it is safe to do business with them.”

Marc Fossier, chief corporate social responsibility officer at Orange, said: “In line with its belief that broad industry action is key for ensuring the protection of consumers' data, Orange is fully supportive of the GSMA's mobile privacy principles and future developments.”

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