You can take action now
by signing up below to the ‘Opt me out of Location’ campaign launched by privacy innovation specialist Krowdthink and the Open Rights Group, the UK’s digital campaigning organisation.
When you sign a contract
with your mobile phone or Wi-Fi service provider you more than likely do not realise that you are opting in to having your location tracked (and often your web browsing and app usage too) and for the movement and log data this creates to be stored and shared for their commercial benefit? Unfortunately, turning your location services off on your phone makes no difference whatsoever!
have been opted into having their location tracked (and sometimes their web browsing and app usage too) by default by their mobile provider and public Wi-Fi providers. A hack of this data will present significant insights into your personal lives to the criminal fraternity. Your location and movements are also being traded every day further increasing the chance of a location data breach.
Studies amongst service providers
- being up front at point of contract signature with customers with regards to the fact that all their movements will be tracked & historic location data will be used for marketing purposes and in most cases sold to third parties;
- making it less than obvious how to opt out of location tracking and associated commercial marketing data usage
Support Opt Me Out of Location
www.optmeoutoflocation.com has been set up to encourage the British public to call
for their mobile and Wi-Fi service providers to make it explicit what they are asking
their customers to opt into, thereby providing a clear choice to opt out.
Please tick the boxes below if you support our Opt Me Out of Location campaign.
Your contact details will only be used to convince the UK ICO that there is widespread support for mobile operators and/or public Wi-Fi providers to desist from opting you into location tracking and web/app use logging by default and to specifically request your consent for future location tracking and web/app logging.
How to Opt Out
EE claim that they have legitimate rights to process your data, so they do not have to offer you a mechanism to opt out.
Please ask them to register your call as a complaint regarding use of your personal data beyond those absolutely necessary to provide you with a phone service and data.
The data risksLocation data can be used in many ways if it was to fall into the wrong hands. Below are just some examples:
- High net worth individuals could be targeted, based on where they live, work, eat, shop and combining the location data with a resource like Zoopla shows the locations worth targeting!
- Perfect for burglars who will know when occupants of a house are not in
- Places your children at risk by identifying if parents pick them up or drop them off between 8.30am and 3.30-4pm during school terms
- Presents blackmail opportunities, for example by identifying any cases of infidelity – including when, where and how long for
- Identifies your sex, probable sexual orientation, your religion and many other personal preferences
- Who you associate with, how often, where and when is passively collected, even if you never contact them via phone or apps or web services
Location Tracking ReportsKrowdthink and ORG have published two reports on the practices and contracts of the mobile phone and Wi-Fi industry in relation to location tracking customers and data usage.
They reveal that service providers are:
- Not being up front at point of contract signature with customers with regards to the fact that all their movements will be tracked & historic location data will be used for marketing purposes and in most cases sold to third parties
- Making it less than obvious how to opt out of location tracking and associated commercial marketing data usage
- Hide in the detail of their contracts that customers can indeed opt out of location tracking and the marketing and sharing of related data
- Not always providing customers with all the location tracking data available unless specifically requested
- Putting the customer communications focus on the need for location information to route calls and meet the security requirements of government security legislation
- Introducing more plain speak in their privacy policies on their websites but still not stating in an unmissable way that they track location and use the data for commercial marketing purposes
- Using separated clauses relating to what data is collated and how is it used, obfuscating the use of location data
- Not making customers aware of the risks if they do give companies permission to use and share their data as it is currently impossible for them to work out the effectiveness of their providers’ anonymisation data techniques.
The studies follow a recent announcement by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights, that Wi-Fi service providers must notify device users of the potential for their data to be analysed before they begin to process their information. It also coincides with the introduction of the new EU General Data Protection Regulations this Spring. These are designed to compel organisations to be more transparent about how they collate and handle people’s personal data. Companies who fail to follow the new rules could face huge fines.