Consumer protection.

  • OTE teaches more than 750 students and 100 adults about online safety.
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  • New data roaming model introduced.
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  • eEtiquette campaign recognized as most creative and innovative PR campaign.
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Information and communications technology (ICT) gives consumers a variety of advantages but bears risks as well - from securing personal information to transparent pricing and protecting children from inappropriate content. Protecting its customers is a key element in Telekom's social responsibility involvement. We want to provide our customers with a secure, reliable user environment and comply with high standards to make this happen. In our efforts to do so we have been able to successfully market new—and sensitive—services such as mobile payment.

We especially want to contribute to the safe use of digital media by children and young people. To do this, we help them develop their own media skills and offer parents effective tools, such as special child protection software in Germany, to guarantee age-appropriate use of the Internet for their children.

Online safety initiative at OTE and Cosmote.

The Greek subsidiary OTE launched an information campaign in 2011 to raise awareness of online safety among consumers and employees all over the country. The campaign, with which OTE is hoping to become the country's leader in online safety, will be continued in 2012. The company is offering consultation on the topics of online safety as well as educational events for students, parents, teachers and the public OTE is cooperating in the campaign with the University of Athens' Adolescent Health Unit, Second Department of Pediatrics, at Pedon P. & A. Kiriakou Hospital. OTE hosted nationwide information events at locations such as the OTE Museum of Telecommunications in Athens in 2011. More than 750 students and 100 adults participated. For the second year running, the employees at OTE and their families were trained on the topics of online safety at information events in 2011.

OTE also participated in numerous initiatives: The company supported the EU program for Internet safety, www.saferinternet.gr and provided the infrastructure and technical support needed to operate a free helpline for minors addicted to the Internet at the Adolescent Health Unit Furthermore, OTE is a member of the non-profit organization Safenet. This promotes a regulation procedure for the safe use of the Internet and the protection of children against inappropriate content. Safenet supported a nationwide awareness campaign that was launched in July 2011 by the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Internet Crime.

With the Online Security software package that has been offered by the company since 2009, OTE has developed an effective tool for the integrated protection of e-mail programs and computers. The software combines firewalls with anti-virus, anti-spam and parental controls.
OTE also offers advice on safety topics on its customer service site.

OTE provides parents with practical tips on how to use the Internet safely in a brochure that comes with the product. Between 2006 and early 2012, more than 150,000 brochures were distributed.

Services and campaigns at the Cosmote group.
The Cosmote group and its subsidiaries Cosmote Greece, Cosmote Romania, Globul in Bulgaria and AMC in Albania focused their mobile communications safety activities on three areas:

  • Participating in European initiatives on self-control and voluntary commitment. In this way, support is given to all mobile communication subsidiaries in the EU for example the European Framework for Safer Mobile use by Younger Teenagers and Childrenby the signing of the European memorandum on online safety
  • Collaborating with the national Safer Internet Centers and the pan-European Insafe center (all subsidiaries except for AMC).
  • Development of services which support the parental control of Internet usage (all subsidiaries)

Cosmote Romania conducted an information campaign on online safety at its stores and online in March 2011. Globul became an official partner of the first Bulgarian online safety hotline, which was initiated by the national Safer Internet Center and a parent initiative in April. The hotline was set up for children, parents and teachers. Globul gives callers a discount price of 7 cents per call, regardless of the duration of the call.

Child safety product package at Slovak Telekom.

In response to the results of a study published by the organization eSlovensko in 2009, Slovak Telekom launched a new range of child safety products in 2011. The study showed that 27 percent of parents in Slovakia did not care what their kids were doing online. 64 percent of the children said that their family did not have any rules for using the Internet.

Based on the study, Slovak Telekom became the first Slovakian telephone company in March 2011 to offer a prepaid SIM card, giving parents control over how their children use smartphones. Parents can use the card to block all inappropriate content and services on the Slovak Telekom portal and the websites of partner platforms. In August 2011, Slovak Telekom launched child safety software for online access via fixed-line connections and mobile broadband connections. In October the company integrated additional applications into prepaid cards, such as a text message notification to parents when their child's credit drops below 50 cents.

Mobile payment without subscription or cost traps.

To protect our customers and increase customer trust in mobile payment, the four German mobile network providers established the Value-Added services Competence Center in August 2011. The purpose of the center is to guarantee high standards when it comes to the security and transparency of digital mobile value-added services. A new quality standard for the online billing of paid subscription services such as ring tones, games and sweepstakes was introduced in January 2012.

As of mid-2012, customers will also be able to check speed dial numbers and get information on the relevant provider at http://www.mehrwertdienstekompetenz.de/20.html. This will give them more transparency regarding the services they use. We are currently working on other measures for mobile use of the Internet.

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Again and again customers unintentionally sign up for subscriptions online that are then invoiced in their cell phone bill. Providers do not always list prices and subsequent costs with enough clarity.

That is why the Value-Added Services Competence Center focuses primarily on developing and establishing standardized payment templates. It requires all providers of web-based services to provide important information such as prices, possible subscription durations and cancellation periods. Users must twice confirm that they have read this information. The participating companies have been praised by politicians and consumer protection authorities alike for their collaboration, which is being fully rolled out in the first half of 2011.

Phone and Internet use throughout the EU for a flat rate.

Mobile surfing abroad often leads to unexpectedly high costs for customers. That is why we introduced a completely new data roaming model, Travel&Surf, on July 1, 2011, at almost all European subsidiaries. It provides standardized, reasonable rates throughout the EU for mobile phone and Internet services beyond country borders and can be conveniently booked via text message or online. As soon as they enter their country of destination, customers are sent a text message informing them of the offer and inviting them to book it. This information also pops up on the landing page when they open their browser. Customers can then keep track of the costs they accrue either online or via text message.

CR Report from the previous year

Customer-friendly data privacy standards.

In 2011 Deutsche Telekom also actively participated in the Mobile Privacy Initiative (MPI) to develop customer-friendly data privacy standards. The first guidelines for developing mobile applications were scheduled to be introduced in the spring after the Privacy Principles were published in January 2011. This deadline was postponed to February 2012, however, due to differing interests among the participating companies. The new guidelines cover all important data privacy topics and make sure that data privacy criteria are taken into account even during the app development process. The guidelines improve transparency, offer users more options and guarantee precise control over the personal information that is accessed by the app they are using. Just like the other European mobile communications providers, Telekom is implementing these guidelines in Europe step-by-step. Compliance with the regulations is checked during the product release procedure. Other topics are currently in the planning phase. Telekom will actively participate in these as well.

CR Report from the previous year

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The Mobile Privacy Initiative (MPI), which was officially founded in January 2011, was initiated by the world's largest mobile communications association with a membership of over 800 mobile communications providers, the GSM Association (GSMA). The purpose of MPI is to develop customer-friendly data privacy standards for Internet-enabled and multifunctional cell phones, otherwise known as smartphones. The value chain in the mobile communication sector is comprised of different providers, often located across the globe, specializing in end-devices, operating systems, telecommunications services, software programs (apps) and online services. The aim is to establish customer-friendly standards to be incorporated into products by product developers right from the start.

Examples of voluntary commitments and codes of conduct on consumer protection.
At a glance:
Examples of voluntary commitments and codes of conduct on consumer protection.
Data privacy code for geodata services with Bitkom   Telekom Deutschland
Specific price controls in the General Terms and Conditions, § 13 (3)   T-Mobile Austria
General Recommendations for the Provisioning of Audiotex Services   T-Mobile Czech Republic
General Rules of Provision of Premium Services (Premium SMS , Premium MMS)   T-Mobile Czech Republic
Code of conduct for premium SMS/mobile services and web-based services   Telekom Deutschland (mobile communications)
The GSMA's Mobile Privacy Initiative   Deutsche Telekom
Code of Conduct for Value Added Services Provided through Mobile Phones and for the Protection of Minor Users   Cosmote Greece
Bill Limit Service   T-HT Hrvatski Telekom
Code of Conduct—Mobile Premium Services   Magyar Telekom (mobile communications)
Code of Ethics for Premium Rate Services   Magyar Telekom (mobile communications)
AntiSpam Policy   T-Mobile Macedonia
SMS  Service Provision Code of Conduct   T-Mobile Netherlands
General Rules for Providing SMS  Services for Non-branded Projects   Slovak Telekom (mobile communications)
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's (CTIA) Wireless Consumer Checklist   T-Mobile USA
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's (CTIA) Consumer Code for Wireless Service   T-Mobile USA
Award for eEtiquette.

In October 2011, the German public relations association "Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft (DPRG)" recognized eEtiquette and presented the German PR Award to Telekom for its associated campaign to acknowledge its creativity and innovation. The International German PR Award is the most important award in the industry in German-speaking countries.

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The goal of the eEtiquett guidelines, which were developed by users for users, is to raise awareness of the security aspects to be kept in mind when using modern communications media. The document uses catchy, humorous guidelines and tips on how to do this. For example, e-Etiquette points out that users should allow their data on Facebook to be viewed by selected groups only. Users also have the chance to give their opinions on Facebook and Twitter, comment on existing guidelines and make suggestions. This offer is not limited to those countries in which Telekom is active but is also available in Russia or India, for example. In June 2011, the second edition of the eEtiquette book was published. The book includes what users considered the 101 most important guidelines.

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