Swedish regulators look at handling of mobile location data

Location information can be very sensitive to subscribers, telecom regulator PTS said

The sale of location information from mobile operators to service providers could result in privacy issues, and needs to be investigated, two Swedish regulators said on Tuesday.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) and the Swedish Data Inspection Board, whose task is to protect individuals' privacy in the information society, have joined forces to ensure that personal privacy is respected by location-based services.

"Location information can be very sensitive to subscribers. That's why we've decided to take a closer look at this area," said Staffan Lindmark, a legal adviser at PTS.

The project will also take a look at how other subscriber data, including phone numbers, is handled.

PTS has now sent a questionnaire to operators asking what kind of information is transferred from operators to service providers, how the information is protected and how they have obtained permission to use it from subscribers, according to Lindmark.

The two regulators will start analyzing the replies this fall, and plan to publish a report by the end of October, Lindmark said.

It makes sense for regulators to take a look how location information is handled, because of the fast growth of the segment and the sensitivity of the information, according to Jonathan Arber, senior research analyst at IDC.

However, he doesn't believe regulation will be necessary. Regulators taking a look at how data is handled could also improve consumer confidence, and could also prove to be a boon to location based services, Arber said.

This isn't just an issue for Swedish regulators, but something that other countries need to keep an eye on as well, according to Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight.

"We are still an early stage of the market, but operators are already sitting on a wealth of data about its users," said Pescatore.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Swedendata protectionprivacy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?