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Telstra Location Insights FAQs

How does Location Insights work?

Telstra Location Insights can be used to better understand population movements across geography and time. It uses data collected from our network to create high level location-based insights that can help Governments and organisations in industries such as infrastructure, transport and tourism solve planning challenges and deliver other benefits for local communities. For example, it can be used to assess how key infrastructure and public spaces are used and what future development may be required, as well as movement across key road and rail routes to understand what investment is needed to meet future demand.


Which organisations are using Location Insights?

While Location Insights is a relatively new product for us, we have been working with organisations in industries like government, transport, construction and tourism. These organisations are provided aggregated and anonymised insights to assist with planning decisions.


Is Telstra tracking individuals’ locations to generate this data? Are individual customer movements included?

We do not track the location of individuals. We generate insights that are aggregated and anonymous so there is no prospect of individual identification.


Is information on my location provided in real-time?

We do not provide real-time location insights. Movements across geography are captured in 15 minute increments before being aggregated and anonymised and provided after 24 – 48 hours have passed.


How do you keep my data private?

We do not share or sell any information which identifies, or could reasonably identify, you with third parties. Additionally, it is not possible for a third party who receives these insights to be able to ascertain the identity of a customer based on the material provided.


In more technical terms, Location Insights builds industry-specific metrics where de-identified data sets are used for modelling purposes and then extrapolated to estimate for the entire population. These metrics undergo a comprehensive anonymisation process which starts with data being aggregated spatially and temporally before differential privacy and k-anonymisation are both applied to completely anonymise the data.


The anonymisation techniques are aligned with industry best practice, injecting all outputs with ‘noise’ such as a small random variable (differential privacy). This makes an aggregated dataset more private than it was before.


We then ensure small values are removed from the datasets (k-anonymisation). This technique applies suppression and generalisation methods to ensure the aggregated data cannot be accurately de-aggregated into its component data. 


These combined methods offer strong mathematical guarantees and prevent outputs from being matched with other data sets to identify individuals. When developing our data model we consulted with data privacy experts from National ICT Australia Ltd (now part of CSIRO’s Data61) who provided independent advice to inform our de-identification techniques and their application in protecting individual consumer privacy in the context of counting aggregate numbers of mobile devices in a network cell, which is the basis of the Location Insights product.


How can I opt-out?

Our customers under the age of 18 are automatically excluded from the insights provided. For everyone else, we have created a simple opt-out form so you can choose not to have your data included as part of our location insights.


Where can I find out more on how Telstra protects my privacy?

Telstra’s Privacy Statement has for more information on how we protect your personal information.

Version history
Revision #:
4 of 4
Last update:
July 2018
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