EE hits out at customer data sharing claims

Mobile operator denies traceable customer data is being sold on to third parties.

Privacy

EE has reacted angrily to "misleading" reports about it selling on customers' personal information to third parties.

The mobile operator was accused of providing market research firm Ipsos Mori with exclusive access to its customers' text and call records in a Sunday Times report.

The suggestion that we sell the personal information of our customers to third parties is misleading to say the least.

The article claims Ipsos Mori has been attempting to sell on the data to a number of third parties, including the Metropolitan Police, allowing them to snoop on users' movements in real-time.

In a statement to IT Pro, EE confirmed its partnership with Ipsos Mori, but was quick to stress that none of the data passed on is traceable.

According to the report, Ipsos Mori had previously claimed the data could be used to track users to within 100 metres, and included details about users' gender, ages and postcodes.

"The suggestion that we sell the personal information of our customers to third parties is misleading to say the least," the EE statement read.

"The information is anonymised and aggregated, and cannot be used to identify the personal information of individual customers.

"We would never breach the trust our customers place in us and we always act to comply fully with the Data Protection Act," it added.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Ipsos Mori said it "absolutely refutes the suggestion" it is selling on EE customers' personal information.

"In the cutting edge research Ipsos Mori is doing with EE our mobile analytics explore user volume, demographics and mobile web use from anonymised and aggregated groups of people," it states.

"In conducting this research, we only receive anonymised data without any personally identifiable information...[and] have taken every care to ensure it is being carried out in compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements."

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