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GSMA Publishes Mobile Privacy Principles

Industry takes proactive step to address privacy concerns
LONDON, Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today announced the publication of its Mobile Privacy Principles. The principles describe the way in which mobile consumers' privacy should be respected and protected when consumers use mobile applications and services that access, use or collect their personal information. The principles are the result of close collaboration by leading mobile operators and input from other players in the wider mobile eco-system.

"Online privacy is an important and high-profile issue across the globe," said Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer, GSMA. "In many regions of the world, consumers' first internet experience will be via mobile and we believe it is right to address mobile privacy challenges early to ensure the protection of consumers' privacy. We warmly welcome stakeholders from the broader ICT industry to join us in conversation and partnership on this work."

The Mobile Privacy Principles will be used to develop more detailed guidelines and codes of conduct to address specific consumer concerns such as the use of private data or location details by applications. They pave the way for the development of clear and simple ways for customers to manage their information and their privacy on mobile phones. The key challenge is to find new mobile-friendly methods to help consumers make informed decisions about their privacy.

One key principle relates to 'transparency and notice', which is about being open and honest with customers about what personal information is being collected and why. The principles also cover issues such as the need to provide consumers with control over how their personal information is used and by whom, and ensuring only a minimum amount of data for a given service is collected and that it is retained no longer than necessary.

The GSMA is examining these issues in depth and reaching out to broader industry stakeholders to establish a broad consensus on how to ensure consumers' privacy is treated more consistently across mobile applications and across platforms and services whilst continuing to support innovation.

Phillips continued, "The Mobile Privacy Principles are a significant first step but addressing mobile privacy is an ongoing challenge that requires the support and collaboration of the wider internet industry, civil society and regulators, working together, if we are to deliver real protection for consumers. This is a call to action to the broader industry."

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com or the GSMA corporate website at www.gsmworld.com.

The GSMA welcomes comment and engagement from all stakeholders. Companies already involved in the Mobile Privacy Initiative, who developed these principles, include AT&T, Deutsche Telecom, Everything Everywhere, H3G Europe, Opera, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, Vodafone, Zain. Details of the GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative and a full copy of the Mobile Privacy Principles can be found at www.gsmworld.com/mobileprivacy. Comments can be sent to [email protected]

Additional Quotes:

"The Mobile Privacy Principles adopted by GSMA embody what we at AT&T have long believed in and practiced about privacy by design. We're pleased to be a part of this Mobile Privacy Initiative and we support its goal of serving as the start of a process that will seek to shape the way privacy is advanced, managed and protected across the emerging mobile eco-system.

Robert W. Quinn Jr., Senior Vice President-Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T

"The Mobile Privacy Initiative aims at empowering Deutsche Telekom Group's customers to exercise choice and preference over how their personal information is used. Deutsche Telekom adheres already today to highest privacy standards for its own products and services. But by actively working through this initiative with manufacturers, Internet companies and software developers, further improvements for our customers will be achieved."

Claus Ulmer, Group Privacy Officer, Deutsche Telekom

"In line with its belief that broad industry action is key for ensuring the protection of consumers' data, Orange is fully supportive of the GSMA's Mobile Privacy principles and future developments The Group has already demonstrated its commitment in this area by including privacy guidelines early in the design process, resulting in products and services that offer an additional level of comfort and security for our customers."

Marc Fossier, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Orange.

"Trust and confidence is important to my customers and therefore important to the future of Telefonica. We see this initiative as an important step in establishing this."

Matthew Key, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Telefonica Europe

"We at Telekom Austria Group combine innovation with safety, reliability and stability and give high priority to our customer's satisfaction with services and products. When it comes to confidential information, we deploy the latest technologies to protect privacy and to meet the strictest security precautions for data protection. As we are aware about the challenges in our ecosystem, we not only have a group-wide and consistent information security policy, but we also fully support the GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative as a further important step to address privacy concerns within the worldwide mobile communications industry."

Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO,Telekom Austria Group

"Telenor considers the Mobile Privacy Principles to be an important step to further safeguard customer information, and to give the customer a better insight and control regarding how their data is being processed.

We believe these principles will lead to better and more secure mobile services, and Telenor Group have therefore together with other operators and stakeholders in the GSMA privacy initiative contributed with our resources and input."

Kjetil Rognsvag, Group Privacy Officer, Telenor Group

"Customers data privacy protection and respect of user right and choice have been always a priority for Telecom Italia that is why we have joined and worked in the Mobile Privacy Initiative, in collaboration with the other players, to reinforce and share these criteria. The idea behind the MPI Principles is the definition of a concrete action to produce a worldwide framework able to merge customer privacy protection and the innovation in our services. Indeed the MPI Principles combine the experience of different players and legislations could be the basis for customer privacy protection in the Telco ecosystem."

Franco Bernabe, CEO Telecom Italia Group & Chairman GSMA

"The age of mobile technology has made it imperative that network operators create and support a framework to further protect customer privacy. This creates a bond of trust and ensures that we operate according to the highest ethical and moral standards. At Zain we take our responsibilities in this field very seriously and we are committed to operating by the standards demanded by the global mobile industry and cooperating with the various stakeholders in this very important initiative."

Nabeel Bin Salamah, CEO, Zain Group

"The GSMA initiative is a serious effort to take on the challenge of privacy in the fast developing new world of application development. Many of the practices proposed would provide consumers with the transparency and control necessary to ensure trust in this key part of the mobile environment. The Future of Privacy Forum looks forward to working with the GSMA and other stakeholders to continue to advance this key initiative."

Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf areCo-chairs of the Future Privacy Forum and have been party to the Privacy Principles and the draft privacy design guidelines.

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