GSMA Initiative Reinforces European Mobile Operators' Commitment To Consumer Privacy

 GSMA Initiative Reinforces European Mobile Operators' Commitment To Consumer

  PR Newswire

  BRUSSELS, Jan. 28, 2013

- Launched on European Privacy Day, New Accountability Measures Aim to Enhance
User Confidence in Mobile Apps

BRUSSELS, Jan.28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --To mark European Privacy Day(1), the
GSMA is announcing new mobile industry commitments to reinforce privacy
protection for mobile app users. Building on the success of the GSMA's Privacy
Design Guidelines(2) published last year, a number of European mobile
operators are participating in a new initiative that ensures the effective and
consistent implementation of these Guidelines and holds operators directly
accountable for securing the privacy of all customers who use their
own-branded mobile apps.

By signing up to an Accountability Framework, a new tool published today and
with the potential for application across the mobile ecosystem, GSMA members
can now formally commit to ensuring their business practices are compliant
with the Guidelines. The core elements of the Framework include:

  *Organisational commitment : confirming senior management buy-in and
    appropriate delegation to ensure the Guidelines are implemented
    consistently across an organisation's operations;
  *Internal programme controls : including staff guidance on practical
    application of the Guidelines and systems for customers to report
    privacy-related complaints and incidents; and
  *Enforcement for noncompliant organisations : ongoing noncompliance or
    serious breaches will lead to appropriate sanctions.

"The GSMA and its members were the first to address the ongoing challenges of
mobile app privacy through our Guidelines last year," said Tom Phillips, Chief
Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA. "Now, we continue to lead in
this space by introducing this Framework - a direct response to calls for
greater responsibility and accountability in the area of app privacy. If
adopted across the mobile ecosystem, these Guidelines and Framework would help
ensure consistent and comprehensive levels of protection for consumers across
multiple platforms."

Since the publication of the Guidelines, a number of European mobile operators
have begun to implement them for their own-branded mobile apps, including
Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telekom
Austria, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Vodafone. The Guidelines are already
influencing thinking and policy in different regions around the world(3).

"The Framework and Guidelines will help us, as well as the developer
community, to create exciting applications and provide greater transparency
and security with mobile apps," commented Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Telekom
Austria Group. "This is especially important for social networks and cloud
services where we observe a growing concern among users regarding their
personal data. Our own apps have a very high level of privacy and we take the
protection of personal data of our customers extremely seriously."

"The GSMA's mobile privacy Guidelines are the most comprehensive attempt to
date to embed the principle of privacy-by-design in the creation and
development of mobile applications," said Stephen Deadman, Group Privacy
Officer for Vodafone. "Accountability forms an essential element in Vodafone's
privacy programme, and in ensuring privacy-by-design in our app development
process. These principles will help companies across the ecosystem create the
internal governance and assurance processes to ensure the guidelines are
effectively implemented and deliver better privacy experiences for mobile
users in practice."

Phillips continued: "App privacy will remain an important public policy issue
for the foreseeable future. This is shown by the intention of the EU Article
29 Working Party to issue an opinion on mobile app privacy in February 2013
and by EU Commissioner Reding's express reference to the importance of app
privacy in her speech(4) last month. The GSMA will continue to reach out and
work with diverse stakeholders to advance app privacy in the interests of
safeguarding the confidence and trust of mobile users."

To view the Accountability Framework, please follow this link:

Notes to Editors

(1) On January 28, the world celebrates Privacy Day which recognises the
importance of privacy for human values and fundamental freedoms. European
Privacy Day 2013 highlights the value of privacy and data protection in
European societies and engages citizens in privacy relevant activities. Find
out more at

(2) The GSMA Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development were
published in February 2012:

(3) The GSMA Guidelines are referenced in a number of important, international
contexts including:

  *The US Federal Trade Commission's report "Mobile Apps for Kids:
    Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade":
  *The publication of "Good Privacy Practices for Developing Mobile Apps" by
    the Privacy Commissioners of Canada:
  *The Future of Privacy Forum in their submission to the US National
    Telecommunications & Information Administration's (NTIA) efforts on
    developing a mobile privacy code of conduct:
  *"Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem"7, issued by
    the California Attorney General, Kamala Harris:


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.Spanning more
than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators
with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including
handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet
companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial
services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces
industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at
or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications
industry, at

Contact: For the GSMA - Sabina Gockel (Brussels), +32-(0)487-635-145,, or GSMA Press Office,
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