GSMA: Argentina’s mobile operators announce commitment to transparency in personal data use

As part of the GSMA’s “We Care” Campaign, Claro, Movistar and Personal have defined best practices to inform consumers about how their personal information is used

4 December 2018, Buenos Aires: Argentina’s mobile operators today signed a pledge to give customers greater transparency around the handling of their personal data. The measures will provide quick and easy access to information about how the companies use this information and the rights customers have over its treatment. Part of the GSMA “We Care” campaign, the announcement was made by executives of Claro, Movistar and Personal at the Mobile 360 Series – Latin America conference taking place this week at Usina del Arte.

“At a time when companies’ treatment of personal data is highly sensitive, mobile operators are taking action to give consumers greater transparency and clarity,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA. “The We Care initiative is the ideal vehicle for companies to work together to define best practices and raise industry standards with regard to privacy. Collectively, the pledges made under the We Care campaign empower users by giving them a safer and more reliable mobile experience.”

The agreement includes a series of practices to inform customers how the companies protect their personal data. The first measure is to prominently place privacy policies on the operators’ websites. The policies will contain easy-to-understand information about user rights, and will be periodically updated with current regulations. The intention behind the initiative is to provide genuine transparency to consumers, to empower them to make more informed choices.

Claro, Movistar and Personal agreed to publish statistics about the number of judicial requests they receive for users’ data. According to the first figures, the three companies received more than 205,000 of these requests in 2018. Each one is carefully analysed, and companies provide information to the competent authorities only when the request meets the legally required conditions. These figures, which show how the industry collaborates with the judiciary while protecting users’ personal data, will be available since January on the GSMA website.

“In Claro, we aim to offer better and more transparent services every day to our more than 21 million clients. In this regard, we consider it very important to work with the GSMA and the industry to implement the We Care campaign, which will lead to actions that promote a safer and trustworthy environment in terms of privacy for our clients. It will also allow us to continue designing solutions and processes that satisfy their needs and expectations,” said Tomas Mihura, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Claro.

“In our company we are absolutely aligned with data protection laws and regulation. In Telefónica Movistar we are guided by one principle: personal data belong to each person. It is a very valuable asset and our commitment and objective is to safeguard it, by respecting and granting privacy and security to the maximum. Clients have the power over their personal data, and the power to monitor and manage such information. This commitment reaffirms –once again – our commitment to work together with the rest of the mobile industry,” pointed out Luis Delamer, Director of Strategy, Regulation and Wholesale in Telefónica Movistar.

Hernán Verdaguer, Regulatory Affairs Director of Telecom, said: “The commitment proposed by the GSMA promotes the proper management of information security, data treatment and the confidentiality of communications, which are all topics of utmost importance for Telecom, since they are at the core of our clients’ trust in our company when they choose our services. This commitment ratifies the policy that Telecom has already put into practice and reinforces our conviction to always follow the best practices in the market, especially when it comes to a topic such as trust in our firm.”

The operators also reaffirmed their commitment to the GSMA’s “Mobile Privacy Principles”, a set of guidelines about how users’ data should be protected when they use mobile applications and services.

We Care Campaign

Underscoring the mobile industry’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the GSMA We Care campaign was launched by Latin America’s leading mobile operators to ensure all users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have joined forces as an industry to take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. The We Care campaign has been launched in 16 countries in the region, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua and Mexico. Last month, the initiative was deployed for the first time in Africa; Kenya’s operators became signatories of a Child Online Protection (COP).

In Argentina, the initiative was launched in April 2016 with the mobile industry’s commitment to tackle handset theft and support child protection. In 2017, operators announced a new line of action as they united to ensure free calls to the 144 number, which provides information and support to women in situations of violence.