Information and communications technology (ICT) gives consumers a lot of advantages but also comes with some risk. Protecting its customers is a key factor in Telekom's corporate responsibility, from maintaining the security of personal information and offering transparent pricing models to protecting children from unsuitable content. 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 improve their own media skills and also provide parents in Germany with special child protection software, an effective tool to ensure an age-appropriate online experience. In early 2013, we became a member of the alliance for consumer education established by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations. The alliance of representatives from the worlds of business, science and associations works to promote consumer skills throughout Germany through activities such as making media skills part of the curricula.
Deutsche Telekom actively participated in the "Mobile Privacy Initiative" (MPI) to develop customer-friendly data privacy standards again in 2012. These standards are set forth in policies such as the Mobile Privacy Design Guidelines, which were published in 2011. Just like other European mobile communications providers, Telekom introduced this guideline gradually at its European subsidiaries, completing the process in 2012.
Quick reference for data privacy categories.
Telekom classifies personal and confidential business data in data protection classes ranging from "open" to "strictly confidential". A newly developed data privacy disc, similar to a parking disc, shows employees which protection measures need to be employed for the particular information they are working with. All employees can access the online version of the data privacy disc from their computer.
We are planning to develop a smartphone app to help employees work with data privacy standards in 2013. Telekom has created a series of informative flyers on the topic. The flyers provide brief, clear explanations of different data privacy and security regulations, for example for working with smartphones. Content is tailored to different target groups such as team colleagues, managers and heads of organizational units.
TÜV Nord certifies Deutsche Telekom's billing processes.
Telekom sends out around 65 million bills in its fixed-line and mobile communications business each month. Depending on the rate plan, it is often necessary to process thousands of traffic data items to be billed to the exact time for a single customer. Numerous different IT systems work together for this purpose in fixed and mobile communications. In 2012, the technical services company TÜV Nord audited the entire process chain and associated systems in terms of compliance of the billing process with data privacy and IT security, and certified both our fixed-line and mobile communications areas. This was the second TÜV certification for our fixed-line business.
The MIP, which was officially launched in January 2011, was initiated by the world's largest mobile communications association comprised of more than 800 mobile providers, the GSM Association (GSMA). The purpose of MPI is to develop customer-friendly data privacy standards for Internet-enabled and multi-functional cell phones, otherwise known as smartphones. The mobile communications value-added chain is comprised of different providers from all over the world specializing in end devices, the operating systems that run on them, 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.
Telekom guarantees consumer protection at the highest level for its customers through a number of national and international voluntary commitments and internal codes of conduct. Sometimes these even go far beyond the standards required by national regulations. We have also made a large number of voluntary commitments in the area of youth 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|
In 2012 OTE and Cosmote joined forces to inform children and parents by releasing a new campaign—"In the Internet fairyland, we want no villains"—about online safety and to protect children from possible dangers lurking online. This program included the following:
- Safe Internet navigation and mobile telephony service usage: OTE offers Connx Secure, which provides full protection for a user's e-mails and computer (including parental control services) while Cosmote provides a free, user-friendly parental control service enabling subscribers to block adult categories in Cosmote's My View portal.
- Raising public awareness: OTE and Cosmote have published a new common information leaflet on online safety for children for distribution at the companies' customer touchpoints (e.g., the OTE Telecommunications Museum, and big events sponsored by the two companies).
- Collaboration with recognized institutions: OTE and Cosmote cooperate with and sponsor the Adolescent Health Unit of the Second Department of Pediatrics at the University of Athens; P. & A. Kyriakou Children's Hospital and the Greek Awareness Center (Saferinternet.gr), which operates under the auspices of the European Commission; and the Cyber Crime Unit through its support for the Awareness Conferences organized in 2012 by the Unit on safe internet navigation. OTE and Cosmote also support the YpoSTIRIZO 800 11 800 15 helpline of the Greek Awareness Center. OTE is a member of SAFENET (the Greek self-regulatory body for Internet content) and along with Cosmote is a member of the Advisory Board of Greek Awareness Center.
- Safer Internet Day-2013 initiatives: On the occasion of the Safe Internet Day 2013 and driven by the conviction that prevention and proper information can ensure the safe use of the Internet and of the mobile telephony services, OTE and Cosmote implemented an awareness campaign for the second consecutive year. This special event for parents, adolescents and children took place on Saturday, 2 February 2013, at the biggest shopping mall in Athens. Specialists from the Adolescent Health Unit informed parents and children about the safe use of the Internet, potential risks, as well as young people's addiction through interesting interactive activities.
Through a Safer Internet Campaign in the first quarter of 2012, Cosmote Romania was involved in promoting safe Internet usage for children for the fourth year in a row. On Safer Internet Day (February 7) the company launched a large-scale communications campaign that made a key contribution to the largest national campaign aimed at protecting children and youngsters from unsuitable digital content.
This campaign aimed to increase parents' and youngsters' awareness of the potential dangers encountered while surfing the Internet. 32,000 of copies of a flyer entitled "How to protect your children from internet dangers" were made available through Cosmote and Germanos stores and at corporate events. In addition, Cosmote Romania implemented an online and print campaign as part of the company's commitment to improving the social and environmental dimension in which it operates as a responsible member of the society.
Globul and Germanos conducted a national road safety campaign entitled "Drive safely—Use hands-free" from July to December 2012. They distributed leaflets with tips for safe driving and a list of sanctions for road traffic offences as stipulated in the Bulgarian Road Traffic Act as well as car stickers with the slogan of the initiative at central junctions and boulevards in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and Burgas. Held for a sixth consecutive year, the campaign aims to encourage responsible driving and the use of hands-free devices behind the wheel—to improve road safety in the country.