The European Commission hopes that telecom providers will share user data of their customers to analyze the spread of the corona virus. KPN and VodafoneZiggo say they want to cooperate if a request is received from the government.
User data sharing was discussed in a video call between European Commissioner Thierry Breton, directors of European telecom companies and GSMA, the industry association for the mobile industry. This would be anonymised customer metadata, which cannot be traced back to individuals.
This data contains, for example, location data of people. For example, it is possible to monitor where many people come together.
VodafoneZiggo says it has not yet received a formal request from the Dutch government to share the data. “Vodafone Group is willing, if technically and legally feasible, to help governments develop insights based on large anonymized data sets,” said a spokesperson.
KPN also says it wants to cooperate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “But only when that is also in line with strict privacy guidelines,” said a spokesperson.
“An inventory is currently underway to see whether competent authorities in the Netherlands need this. If so, we may be able to facilitate this under certain conditions, provided that the applicable privacy legislation can of course also be complied with.”
It is not yet known whether and when telecom providers can expect such a request and how the data should be shared.