The British company that handles location data from mobile phones no longer collects data in the European Union or the United Kingdom. The UK Data Protection Authority has banned the company from collecting UK data and has ordered all previous data to be deleted. Then Tamoko voluntarily withdrew from business in Norway and the European Union. who – which Norwegian Radio NRK . reports.
In 2019, NRK purchased 35,000 NOK worth of site data from Tamoco. In return, the station’s journalists received data from more than 140,000 mobile phones and tablets in Norway. This data does not contain names and phone numbers, and the companies are assumed to be anonymous. However, journalists managed to prove it That with the help of data, people’s movement patterns can be tracked in detail. In the end, they were able to identify people by name, including members of the military and Conservative MP Lynn Westgaard-Halle. Journalist Martin Gundersen called it “scary”.
Stop by monitoring data protection
After reporting from NRK, the UK’s Data Protection Inspectorate (ICO) launched an investigation into Tamoco. This now ended with the data trader being reprimanded, BBC reports. The company has not provided British citizens with sufficient information about how their data is used and their data protection rules must now be reviewed. An ICO spokesperson says: “We have also advised Tamuko on data protection to ensure that British nationals’ data is not processed and all previous records are deleted.”
The ICO initially did not want to say anything to NRK about how the decision would affect mobile users: within the UK. An employee of the Norwegian Data Protection Supervisory Authority has confirmed to Norwegian Radio that Tamoco is also withdrawing from Norway and the European Union and will no longer collect location data there. This was discovered in a phone call with the British ICO. “Tamoko appears to be a shady company operating in gray areas at best,” the employee told the station. So he believes that Tamoko should withdraw from Europe.
Data merchants like Tamoco collect location data with the help of supposedly harmless Android apps that users install on their mobile phones, including navigation apps or weather apps. In further research, NRK and Motherboard reveal how this data is collected and resold across a long line of companies. In one case, data from mobile apps ended up with a company that provides information to US authorities such as the FBI or ICE Border Police.
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