Data anonymisation:Telefónica Germany supports Robert Koch Institute with mobility analyses in the fight against corona
In the current exceptional situation due to corona, the discussion about mobility analyses based on mobile radio data has gained momentum again. The question is whether and how these analyses can help to contain the corona virus. As a telecommunications company, Telefónica Deutschland is aware of its social responsibility and is in contact with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The decisive factor here is that the analyses are based exclusively on anonymised and aggregated data. Telefónica Deutschland is supporting the Robert Koch Institute together with partners such as Teralytics in order to manage the corona crisis in the best possible way. On the basis of anonymised and aggregated mobile phone data (so-called "black data"), which do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about specific individuals, Telefónica Deutschland and its partners provide valuable analyses. The company, which connects most people in Germany with mobile communications, is thus fulfilling its social responsibility to help contain the corona virus to the greatest possible extent. The analyses can be used to map mobility flows for the entire country, for example. Such information can help to predict in which areas the corona virus could spread further.
Detecting changes in mobility behavior
Together with its long-standing partner Teralytics AG and Senozon Deutschland GmbH, with which a cooperation has recently been established, Telefónica Deutschland provides analyses to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). For example, Teralytics provides the number of trips, route lengths and the breakdown of means of transport such as car or flight in the form of a dashboard with daily updated data. These data enable a unique Germany-wide and daily updated analysis of changes in the mobility behaviour of the population. This makes it easier to understand, for example, whether and how initial restrictions and other political measures are working. They can also be adapted quickly. It is also conceivable to create forecast models based on the historical data in order to be able to relax or abolish the measures step by step as the situation improves.
Analyses based on anonymised and aggregated data
Only the final results of the analyses are transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute in aggregated form. Telefónica Deutschland does not pass on raw data or anonymised individual data sets. This means that only general analyses such as those of population movements are possible, but not more detailed observations. Nor can chains of infection be traced via mobile phone data, as these do not allow precise localisation from a purely technical point of view. Furthermore, the disclosure of personal traffic data is excluded, as these are rightly subject to strict legal requirements. "The basis for providing this information is the data anonymisation platform DAP, which we developed in close cooperation with the Federal Data Protection Commissioner," explains Pia von Houwald, Director B2P Digital Processes & Services at Telefónica Germany. "DAP fully complies with the strict legal requirements. On this basis, we already have many years of experience in generating anonymised mobility data to develop innovative solutions for mobility, cities, retail and many other areas". The extent to which the analysis of anonymised and aggregated data can contribute to slowing down the spread of coronavirus should be assessed by the relevant experts. "But within the scope of the legal requirements, we are happy to do everything we can to help stem the spread of the corona virus," said von Houwald.