Vodacom providing subscribers' details to companies

Jonathan Cherry raised his concerns regarding the issue of big data on the Ad Feature, where our internet search behaviour is monitored and information passed onto companies who then gear their marketing towards us.

It has now been reported that mobile service provider Vodacom is providing information which uniquely identifies you as a subscriber to websites you visit while on its data network.

Among the data Vodacom subscribers are inadvertently providing to web servers is their phone number and a unique identifier for their device (called the IMEI/SV).

It has been suggested in some media reports that this data is being sent to web servers because Vodacom is modifying the web traffic of its subscribers.

MyBroadband’s Jan Vermeulen discovered the issue when he tested South African networks against a tool designed by security researcher Kenneth White. White’s work has been highlighted in the international press earlier this week, when he uncovered similar issues at AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the US.

But head of corporate communications at Vodacom, Richard Boorman, says the number is not being sold off to direct marketing companies, and is instead included in the header enrichment for charge-to-bill services to ensure correct billing by companies such as Blackberry

Listen to Kieno Kammies' interview with them here:


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