Data-driven insights on movement and location
Mobility Insights uses aggregated and anonymized data on movement and profiles generated by one of the largest samples in Germany from billions of daily network events. By working with carefully selected partners, this data is transformed into valuable insights that benefit both the economy and society.
At O2 Telefónica, we prioritize the protection of customer data and are dedicated to empowering people to take control of their digital lives. These principles guide our work in the Mobility Insights area, where we develop solutions for Transport planners, media agencies, property developers, retail brands and more.
Example use cases
To analyze anonymized data, O2 Telefónica utilizes two distinct data sources. The first is the vast amount of data generated through our regular business processes, made up of around 46 million mobile connections. As a network operator, we have exclusive access to certain types of data, such as mobility data, generated when mobile devices communicate with cell towers, for example when making calls or browsing the internet.
In addition to this, we also possess sociodemographic data on our customers, such as age and gender, which can be included in the large anonymized data pool. This data pool can then be used to generate insights about movement flows for various groups, benefiting transportation companies and cities, among others.
Our Data Anonymization Process
Making Information Statistically Useful While Preserving Privacy
Millions of customers trust our communication networks every day, making the protection and security of their data our top priority. O2 Telefónica has developed the Data Anonymization Platform (DAP), a multi-stage process that uses one of the world's strictest data protection standards to reliably anonymize data. Mobility data is generated when mobile devices communicate with our mobile cells, such as when making phone calls.
Our three-step anonymisation process.
- Aggregation and
Drag and anonymise
Our Data Anonymization Platform (DAP) ensures comprehensive data protection and privacy preservation. However, we believe that individuals should retain control over the use of their data. That’s why we offer a tool for you to check your data usage status and make changes if necessary.
Transparency and self-determination for our customers
Handling data responsibly and sustainably
As more and more applications aim to simplify our daily lives, data analysis has become increasingly essential. From instantaneous internet searches to on-time package deliveries, and even spam filters that recognize text patterns to block unwanted emails.
All of these rely on statistical methods that examine data for recurring patterns and derive valuable insights from them. It's simple; the larger the data pool, the clearer the patterns, and the more reliable the findings.
Trust is crucial for new data-driven business models
As digital technologies continue to generate an increasing amount of data, statistical applications are becoming more versatile. However, this also raises new requirements and challenges in terms of responsible data handling and sustainable protection of privacy.
At O2 Telefónica, we have been working for years to establish new standards that make digital technologies more secure and transparent. We believe that everyone should have the confidence that their data is safe and be able to shape their own digital lives.
New insights from data analysis
With over 46 million customer connections, Telefónica Germany has access to a large amount of data because of its normal business processes. This includes a lot of data that is exclusively available to us as a network operator, such as mobility data.
This data is generated when mobile devices communicate with mobile cells, such as when making calls or browsing the internet. To protect user privacy, Telefónica anonymizes this data before using it to calculate anonymized movement flows. By intelligently analyzing and linking this data, we can derive valuable insights that are relevant to a broad range of industries, municipalities, public transportation operators, and society as a whole.
Secure Anonymized Data Usage
To enable responsible statistical analysis, Telefónica Germany has developed a three-stage process for anonymizing data: the Telefónica Anonymized data: The Telefónica Data Anonymization Platform (DAP). This platform meets the highest data protection standards and ensures that no individual can be identified through the compiled statistics.
Even with anonymization, Telefónica Germany believes that customers should always retain control over their data usage. That's why you can check the status of your anonymized data usage and modify it if needed. This service is available to all customers of Telefónica Germany's networks, regardless of their brand (e.g., O2).
Data protection and data analysis - balancing privacy and insights
At O2 Telefónica, we understand the importance of protecting individual privacy while still enabling valuable data analysis. That's why we use anonymization techniques to safeguard personal data before analyzing it. For statistical applications, the key is the relevance of the data - the more similar data we have, the clearer patterns become, making it easier to derive insights. However, the focus is on groups of individuals rather than individual behaviors. Our Telefónica Data Anonymization Platform (DAP) uses advanced processes to generalize and aggregate data, grouping it together while protecting privacy at every step. The DAP goes beyond aggregation to offer two additional layers of protection, ensuring privacy is preserved throughout the entire analysis process. This approach ensures that data is useful for statistical applications, while maintaining the privacy of our customers.
Secure and Responsible Data Processing
Protection of personal data is of utmost importance to O2 Telefónica, which is why all processing steps are carried out in separate, highly secure data centers.
- Segmentation To ensure privacy protection, the data is first segmented into its smallest components using specialized processes, which are then distributed to independent areas. This step ensures de facto anonymity as the data records cannot be linked to each other.
- Transformation The next step involves the transformation of the individual components through fixed processing steps where existing characteristics are generalized, randomly modified, or discarded. This allows for the controlled linking of the components while maintaining anonymity.
- Aggregation and extrapolation Finally, similar characteristics are aggregated to create representative groups which are then extrapolated to all customers and even the population as a whole. This results in a statistical statement, which is the only relevant information for the analysis. Throughout all the processing steps, privacy is maintained, and no inferences can be drawn about individuals.
Make your own decision
You retain control over your data
Valid statistical analyses form the basis for better planning. The network operator O2 Telefónica may include your data in statistical analyses after it has been completely anonymized and no longer contains any reference to a single person. From this, O2 Telefónica calculates, among other things, anonymized movement flows that provide important insights for business and society. Further information can be found here. The "Data Anonymization Platform" used in this process offers comprehensive and sustainable privacy protection and sets new standards in an international comparison.
The Data Anonymization Platform offers comprehensive and sustainable privacy protection and sets new standards internationally. Nevertheless, as an O2 Telefónica customer, you should always retain control over the use of your data. Therefore, you can adjust the status for the use of your anonymized data as needed, as described below. This service is available for customers of all brands (e.g., O2) in the O2 Telefónica networks.
|*||Sending an SMS to the short code 66866 from the mobile networks of O2 Telefonica is free of charge for you.|
For our roaming customers:
|**||The price for sending a short message to +491771789498 is determined by your mobile phone contract with your service provider (cost of a short message abroad).|
Frequently asked questions
1. Which data does O2 Telefonica use?
We use anonymized data that does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individual customers. As a major mobile communications provider in Germany with more than 46 million customers, we have access to a large amount of data because of our regular business processes. The data is generated automatically when mobile devices communicate with our mobile cells when making calls, surfing the Internet, or sending text messages. At the same time, we have sociodemographic data on our customers, such as age and gender, which we can include in the large, anonymized data pool. The customer data is fully protected. O2 Telefónica anonymizes the data used via a three-stage process developed jointly with the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Information Security and removes any reference to individuals.
2. What do you do with the anonymized data? What insights do you want to draw from it? Are there already specific products?
Traffic planning can be optimized by analyzing anonymized movement data. This leads to better mobility in large cities. Mobility data also provides a complementary data source for analyzing air pollution.
3. Are raw data also sold to third parties?
The raw data does not leave our premises. Only aggregated, anonymized findings are made available to the selected partners.
4. What does the customer get out of it?
The insights we gain from the data directly benefit our customers:
- By tailoring our products and services specifically to their needs and offering new, better services.
- Socially and economically, because the data generates new ideas and solutions for all areas of our lives - from mobility and healthcare to public administration. This is how we create added value for our customers.
5. How do you protect your customers' data - also from criminals?
O2 Telefónica takes the protection of customer data seriously. Based on German and European data protection laws, O2 Telefónica has implemented data protection and information security measures to ensure comprehensive protection of customer privacy. We do not pass on personal data to third parties. We only make exceptions if we are legally obligated to do so. We regularly provide our employees with training to keep them up to date. We also oblige them to observe data secrecy and telecommunications secrecy. Our employees bear personal responsibility for the data entrusted to them. Especially when evaluating information for statistical analyses, we only use anonymized and aggregated data. O2 Telefónica has developed its own anonymization process for this purpose. It is not possible to draw any conclusions about personal information - not even for our employees. Third parties cannot draw any conclusions about individuals, even if all data records within an area are combined. In addition, the data is distributed across different, organizationally independent high-security data centers. The anonymization process was developed in cooperation with the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
6. Does the customer have to actively agree to anonymous data processing? Or are they automatically included?
Since this is a purely anonymous use of data, the creation of statistical analyses based on it does not require consent. The guarantee of de facto anonymity of the data is ensured under data protection law within the meaning of recital 26 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
7. I do not want my data to be used. What can I do?
8. Are your analytics compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation?
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) harmonizes European data protection standards to protect the privacy of citizens throughout Europe. To this end, it creates new regulations for the handling of personal data, which we strictly adhere to. The data used in O2 Telefónica's analyses has been anonymized in accordance with the DS-GVO. Because the anonymous data no longer identifies or makes identifiable individuals, it does not fall under the scope of the DS-GVO. The data of the customers is therefore already protected by the previous anonymization.
Questions about Mobility Insights?
If you are a blogger or journalist, please contact our colleagues in the press office with any questions.