Proximus tests the boundaries of data privacy with reselling tool

Belgian telco Proximus has launched a new market research tool which is bound to irritate data privacy advocates before too long.

MyAnalytics provides insight into people’s backgrounds, location and movements to allow for targeted promotion and services which can be sold on-demand. The tool is targeted at authorities, enterprises and event organizers who wish to take advantage of on-demand data collection and offer-based advertising campaigns.

As mobile networks continuously monitor where a mobile phone is, Proximus claims it can accurately map the location and movement at any time of the day. In addition, the SIM card tells which region or country a user comes from allowing for more personalized advertising.

The company has explicitly stated the data will be anonymized, and bundled to groups of at least 30 people in an effort to protect the privacy of users and ensure individuals cannot be specifically targeted, though it has not highlighted as to whether this is an opt-in or opt-out service, or even if it has even made customers aware it is selling the data.

As telcos have been on the worse end of the internet evolution, seeing OTTs erode profits through the introduction of free messaging services for example, data is now seen as a new revenue source. This is a prime example of how data can create new opportunities, though there are likely to be some objections to the commercialization of the data from privacy advocates until the Proximus team are clearer on the current set up.

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