James Governor's Monkchips

T-Mobile hotspots 0wn your data

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T-mobile in the UK knows how to put potential customers off. When you try and use a wi-fi hotspot, the firm demands some information which goes above and beyond credit card number. Check the privacy policy and T-mobile says it will send you marketing crap “until you object”- there is no online opt out.

I called the UK Information Commissioner and they said that while the approach is not illegal – it doesn’t follow the regulator’s best practice guidance.

One thing that particularly ticks me off about T-Mobile’s UK policy is that Germany has some of the most stringent data privacy legislation in Europe. If you have German skills and can pick out the firm’s policy on its .de domain i would appreciate a heads up so i can make a comparison…

this policy is just so lame… here are a couple of excerpts:

Data protection
We share information with other members of the Deutsche Telekom group (our parent company) and other companies with which we have a business relationship. If we have to send your details to countries without proper data protection laws, we remain responsible for keeping this information secure.

Contacting you
Until you object, we will use information you give us to provide you with information about goods and services offered by us and other organisations with which we have a business relationship. We or they may contact you by email, telephone, or other online or interactive media. If you would prefer not to receive such information, simply let us know at any time and we will stop sending it to you.

What i find most interesting about T-Mobile’s approach here is that although the policy can lose customers, it certainly won’t win any. so what’s the point?

This week the Liberty Alliance Project came forward with a clear strategy for protecting end customer privacy–including a certification scheme. related was news that IBM, under pressure from Orange, one of Europe’s leading wireless carriers, is supporting Liberty.

Liberty may drive us all to walled gardens, but at least these will be walled gardens where my personal data is protected rather than abused. i want to use wi-fi not be cross sold. get it? i guess not.


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