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Parliamentary questions
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22 November 2019
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Diana Riba i Giner
 Subject: Mobility mapping using data supplied by mobile phone providers

From 18 to 21 November, the government-backed Spanish statistical office (Instituto Nacional de Estadística – INE) carried out a mobile phone tracking operation in Spain in order to obtain information regarding mobility in addition to that traditionally provided by the housing and population censuses. For the purposes of the study, supposedly anonymous data picked up at various times from cell phones within a particular grid cell (1) was purchased from the three main Spanish mobile phone operators.

In view of this, what specific measures is the Commission proposing to uphold the right to privacy and data protection, coupled with freedom of movement, ensuring the anonymity of localisation data processed by mobile phone service providers for subsequent use and marketing under Article 9(1) of Directive 2002/58/EC?

What specific measures does the Commission propose in view of the possibilities offered by state-of-the-art technology to identify of users from the anonymous location data provided by mobile phone operators and INE statistical data?

In the meantime, will the Commission seek to clarify the relationship between the General Data Protection Regulation and Directive 2002/58/EC in view of the provisions of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights?

(1) For this purpose, the INE divided the territory of Spain into 3 500 grid cells with a minimum of 5 000 persons in each.
Last updated: 29 November 2019Legal notice