Telecom operators in Austria and Germany give governments access to users’ location data for COVID-19 tracking

According to the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), two telecommunications companies in Germany and Austria have granted their governments access to customers’ phone data in an effort to track the COVID-19 outbreak. German-based Deutsche Telekom and Austrian-based A1 each gave government access to anonymized data in recent days. “This allows movement flows to be modeled – broken down nationwide, at the state level and down to the district-community level,” a Telekom spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom also said it is handing 5GB of customer data to the Robert Koch Institute, the health organization tasked with coordinating the national response in Germany. Also, Vodafone published a five-point plan, indicating the company may donate anonymized customer data in the future.