Swisscom to pass on data to advertising alliance Admeira as of April

From 1 April, Swisscom will pass on anonymised customer data to the Admeira advertising alliance, which it maintains together with Ringier and SRG. However, customers can object to the use of their data.


Swisscom is drawing attention to this right in a new data protection statement that it is sending out to millions of fixed network customers these days. It explains that private customers have the option of objecting at any time to the processing of data for marketing purposes or the receipt of advertising. Whereas this was previously only possible by hotline, it is now also possible with just a few clicks in the online customer centre.

Swisscom stresses that it only passes on anonymised information on gender, age group and region of residence to Admeira. "It is not possible to draw any conclusions about the person," Swisscom spokeswoman Annina Merk said on Wednesday in response to an enquiry from the SDA news agency. The option to object - the so-called opt-out - is already open to customers today.

Target group oriented advertising

From summer 2017, the telecoms group also plans to make "more extensive use of data", according to an information document in the online customer center. According to Merk, this will include information on product usage, for example. However, customers must explicitly agree to these plans. Swisscom will inform its customers in advance and obtain their consent, Merk said.

Admeira says it will use Swisscom's data for target group-based advertising. The advertising marketer also emphasises in a statement that the data is anonymised and aggregated. Ringier will only provide the company with usage data of the Internet pages. Admeira will not receive any data from SRG. This usage data would be obtained directly from official institutes such as Mediapulse and Netmetrix.

Admeira, the joint venture between the state-affiliated company Swisscom and SRG with the publishing house Ringier, was launched in April 2016. Non-participating media companies and the publishers' association VSM see the advertising alliance as a distortion of competition and want to take legal action against it.

More detailed information

With the newly drafted data protection statement, Swisscom wants to "lend more weight to the topic of data protection," Merk went on to say. "It's about informing customers in a transparent way." Instead of a short passage in the General Terms and Conditions (GTC), it now explains in detail what the telecom giant is allowed to do with customer data. Further information can be found in the online customer center.

According to the Swisscom spokeswoman, the data protection declaration complies with the legal basis. The advice of the Office of the Federal Data Protection Commissioner was sought during the drafting process. The new data protection statement will be accompanied by amendments to the general terms and conditions for Swisscom fixed network customers (telephony, Internet, Swisscom TV) and for users of fixed network services from M-Budget and Wingo. It is not yet clear when mobile customers will follow suit. The terms and conditions will come into force 30 days after receipt of the letter, even if customers do not respond. So far, there have been few customer responses to the new T&Cs and privacy policy, he said. "Most of it has been questions of understanding," Swisscom spokeswoman Merk added. (SDA)

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