Privacy & integrity
What we do to protect the privacy and freedom of our customers and employees
Within Tele2, there are rules on how we handle the personal data of customers and employees that they entrust us with. This includes rules on how we process and store data, how we keep it up to date, provide customers with access to it when needed, and how we ensure personal data is only used for the purpose agreed. Those rules are either made by us, because we think it is good practice to be careful with personal data and privacy, or they are based on rules made by governments. We keep a close eye to these rules, for example, we have now changed our privacy and data protection policies to match the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Because of the services we provide, we process personal data. This happens for example when we send a bill to a customer, or to make sure we connect a call to the right person. To protect and respect privacy, every operation within the Tele2 Group takes responsibility for privacy and data protection and is equipped with the necessary resources. They are supported by a group function that promotes the correct application of privacy and data protection requirements, by providing guidance and feedback. We have a Group Privacy Officer (GPO), and we have Data Protection Officers (DPOs) in all our local operations. The GPO reports to the Group General Counsel, who is part of our Executive Management.
Privacy and Integrity is not only about how we use data; Tele2 believes governments should equally respect the privacy and integrity of our customers. Governments make rules through which they can access our systems or the data of our customers, for example to prevent terrorist attacks. But when we are told to do something, does not mean we should do it without thinking. We consider our customers' rights to privacy, integrity and freedom of expression extremely important, and we will fight for them if necessary. Take for example the landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice on data retention, referred to as "the Tele2 case". We were told to retain and upon request give access to the communications data of all our customers, for example who they called with and when. But Tele2 successfully argued that keeping that data on all our customers for the period demanded was not proportionate and should therefore not be allowed. The law was overturned by the highest European Court, a victory for the privacy of our customers of which we are proud!
Tele2 will cooperate when governments want to have special access to our systems and user information, to combat crime and terrorism, when this is done with an appropriate legal basis and applied it in a way that is justified and proportionate. That being said, we will continue to take a stance to defend our own interests and those of our customers when governments propose disproportionate laws, or when authorities request information in a way that is incompatible with fundamental human rights.