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Providing insights into people's aggregated movements to help fight the spread of COVID-19

We are committed to improving governments' insights into people’s movements in affected areas to support public health and research efforts. At the request of public authorities, non-governmental organisations and approved entities, we may provide a limited amount of aggregated and anonymised network data such as generalised patterns in the movement of people to assist with planning the response to coronavirus. The outputs generated do not contain data that can identify individuals.

The role such data sharing can play to help tackle coronavirus and manage the effect it has, has been recognised by governments and other public entities, telecommunications operators, non governmental organisations and regulators worldwide.

The privacy of our customers will always be a priority so we will ensure appropriate controls are in place to respect fundamental rights and freedoms. Having taken account of regulatory and expert guidance, we have put in place a number of safeguards. These include;

  • Aggregation and anonymisation: We will only share aggregated and anonymised data sets for example heat maps of mobile device movements.
  • Governance: We have internal oversight to ensure we take account of the legal, ethical, security and human impact considerations as well as adopting regulator guidance in relation to the governmental agencies response to coronavirus
  • Proportionality: we only share the data that is strictly needed to achieve the objective
  • Retention: We will periodically review the data sharing initiatives we are undertaking and stop sharing the data when this is no longer necessary.
  • Transparency: We will use online channels such as this statement to increase the transparency of this activity
  • No personal data: No personal data to be shared in these insights unless required by law.
  • Security: We have put in place appropriate security measures, including monitoring access to those who will be viewing the data sets
  • Legitimate: We will only share data where there is a fair and legitimate purpose for such sharing in the context of the public response to coronavirus and the management of the effect of the virus.

These safeguards and Vodacom's wider approach to data sharing will help to ensure we are acting ethically and effectively to serve the public interest.

We are convinced that these insights, when utilised in a reasonable and legitimate manner, are key to protect and empower citizens and to help governments and authorised entities to determine how quickly societies can safely start to return to normal.

We will constantly review our data sharing activities and provide any updates via this page. If you would like to know more about how Vodacom processes personal data or for more information on how to exercise your data protection rights please see our Privacy Policy available on this link