Some Dutch phone firms break law on internet traffic info storage

A quarter of Dutch telecoms firms are using phone and email details they are required to store by law for marketing purposes, Nos television reports on Monday.

Nor are some of them destroying the information a year after it was collected, as they are supposed to do, Nos said.

The facts are contained in the report by the government’s telecoms agency, which was finished in April but never published, Nos says. The report was obtained by internet activist group Bits of Freedom using freedom of information legislation.

Time and place

Phone firms are required by law to keep the time of calls, locations of mobile phones, the names and numbers of their subscribers, IP addresses and in and outlog times. The content of the calls and mails is not kept, Nos said.

However, the agency report shows 24% of phone firms admit processing the information for ‘other than legal ends’. 36% do not ask their clients for permission to do this. The others include the provison in their general terms and conditions.

The agency is currently carrying out a follow-up investigation. If firms are still breaking the law, they will face fines, Nos says. The broadcaster did not name the telecom firms involved.

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