Australia: Vodafone gives government location data


On request, Vodafone Australia, which has 6 million subscribers nationwide, handed the mobile phone location data of several million Australians to the federal and New South Wales governments to help them monitor whether people are following the social distancing restrictions. The governments, medical experts, and media had previously used the data collected by transport apps such as CityMapper, but the number who use that one app is necessarily limited. Vodafone claimed the data was anonymised and aggregated before sharing; the government said the data would not be used to check on the movements of individuals. Optus and Telstra did not say whether they also provided subscribers' location data.


Writer: Ben Grubb; Chris Rowland
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald; Ausdroid