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Transparency in communications is a must for Telefónica

Telefónica has published a comprehensive Transparency in Communications 2016  global report with the objective of providing information on the regulatory environment to which we are subject in each country, what type of and how many requirements we manage and how we respond to them.

The report, which gathers the global Company’s information from 2013 to 2015, shows our commitment with our customers in the fulfilment of the right to freedom of expression in telecommunications, as it is a key pillar of the Company’s transformation towards a Data Driven Company.

Report by countries 

We believe that it is a priority objective to generate a relationship of trust with our customers, not only guaranteeing their right to privacy, but also protecting their data so that nobody has access to it, offering more and more tools to give them greater control over the use and value of these data. Promoting an open society requires a responsible use of data.

Back in 2006, respect for human rights became one of the pillars of our Responsible Business Principles and in 2012 we were pioneers in conducting a global assessment of the impact of our operations in accordance with United Nations’ Guiding Principles on companies and Human Rights. Since then, our commitment has being growing, making a great effort to improve our internal procedures to guarantee our customers’ rights in every market in which we offer product and services. 

Democratic societies are based on the individual fulfilment of fundamental rights. Trust on individual enjoyment of rights has been a basic condition of social contract in our societies. In a data society, with implies a universal use of digital tools, traditional ways of interaction amongst individuals and people with their public administrations, challenge the protection and respect of fundamental rights.

In a global view of such implications, national based decision making and national legal frameworks enter into conflict with the global flow of data in the context of new technologies. This requires an updated understanding of how existing human rights standards should be applied and how governments should modernized their legal frameworks to protect citizens’ rights.

In these new ecosystems, accountability related to the use, collection and stored of personal data is more relevant than ever aiming to building confidence and trust.

In this Transparency  in Communications 2016 report we have distinguishing different categories:

  • Interceptions of communications. The orders and requirements originating from the competent authorities, within the framework of criminal investigations and, if appropriate, civil cases, with the aim of intercepting communications or accessing data traffic in real time.
  • Metadata associated with communications. The requirements originating from the competent authorities whose aim is to obtain historical data referring to: the name and address of the registered user (subscriber information); the data to identify the source and destination of a specific communication (e.g. telephone numbers, internet service user names, etc.); the date, time and duration of the communication; the type of communication; the identity of the communication equipment (including IMSI or IMEI);   the location of the user or device.
  • Blocking and filtering of certain contents. Requirements from the competent authorities in terms of blocking access to specific websites or content. These involve requests to block access to websites or contents, as opposed to requests to delete user content. As an example, blocking requests are issued because websites or contents infringe local laws (usually in relation to child pornography, online betting games, copyright, libel, the illegal sale of medicine, weapons, registered trademarks, etc.).
  • Geographical or temporary suspensions of the service. A requirement from the competent authorities to temporarily or geographically limit the provision of a service. These requirements are usually connected with circumstances involving situations of force majeure, such as natural catastrophes, acts of terrorism, etc.

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Lourdes Tejedor / @madrid2day

Telefónica Public Policy & Telefónica España Regulatory teams