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T-Mobile

T-Mobile is an American mobile communications company founded in 1990.


Collection

Is it clear why the service collects the personal data that it does? Mostly

7/10

Decided Sept. 14, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This question deals with transparency. Even if the service uses data for reasons that aren't ideal for privacy, provided they list all of those uses, the service can still receive full credit for this question. However, if they are not explicit about their uses (by employing language like "such as"), a lower score is assigned.

Possible Options

No0/10
Somewhat4/10
Mostly7/10
Yes10/10
No personal data is collected10/10

Citation

We use the information we collect for a variety of business purposes, such as:

  • To route your calls or message or otherwise provide you with service;

  • To provide and bill for products and services you purchase and charge to your account;

  • To deliver and confirm products and services you obtain from us;

  • To verify your identity and maintain a record of your transactions and interactions with us;

  • To provide customer and technical services to you;

  • To create, modify, improve, enhance, remove or fix our network, products and services, and their performance;

  • To identify and suggest products or services that might interest you;

  • To make internal business decisions about current and future product and service offerings;

  • To provide you customized user experiences, including personalized product and service offerings;

  • To protect our rights, interests, safety and property and that of our customers, service providers and other third parties; and

  • To comply with law or as required for legal purposes.

Note

The Privacy Policy elsewhere explains at length how personal information is used for fraud prevention, Location-Based Service like E911, as well as "Performance, Diagnostics & Management". It more briefly describes usage of data for marketing/advertising and analytics.

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Does the service collect personal data from third parties? Yes

0/10

Decided Sept. 13, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This includes the use of data brokers and independent verification authorities (such as background check providers).

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Only for critical data7/10
No10/10

Citation

We may also obtain information about you from other sources. For example, we may receive credit information from third-party sources before initiating your service, or background information in connection with employment opportunities. We may also obtain updated address information from our shippers or other vendors. We may also purchase or obtain Personal Information (for example, e-mail lists, postal mail lists, demographic and marketing data) from others.

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Does the policy list the personal data it collects? Yes, generally

7/10

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

All general categories of collected personal data are listed, though not all types of personal data are explicitly mentioned (for example, the list might use a phrase like 'such as' when listing types of personal data).

Possible Options

No0/10
Only summarily3/10
Yes, generally7/10
Yes, exhaustively10/10
N/A (no personal information is collected)10/10

Citation

WHAT TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU

We collect information about you and your associated device(s) when you use our products or services or otherwise interact with us or with third-party services through our products and services. Examples of the types of information we collect include:

Personal Information

"Personal Information" means information that we directly associate with a specific person or entity (for example, name; addresses; telephone numbers; email address; Social Security Number; call records; wireless device location). Personal information does not include "de-identified,” "anonymous," or "aggregate" information – which are not associated with a specific person or entity.

Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)

Customer Proprietary Network Information, or "CPNI", is a subset of Personal Information that is generated in connection with the telecommunications services we provide to you. CPNI includes, for example, call details, call location information, and certain information about your rate plans and features. CPNI does not include your name, address, and phone number.

For more information see CPNI

Credit and Financial Information

We collect information about your credit card or banking information, Social Security Number, and credit history for account opening, management and billing and collection purposes. Financial information we collect is governed by T-Mobile’s Financial Privacy Statement.

Network and Device Information

We may collect information about your use of our network (or other carriers’ networks when roaming domestically and internationally) and the device(s) associated with your account, network data related to WiFi usage and device, and performance information, as well as data relating to your use of our website, applications and other products and services.

Location Data

We may collect your device's location whenever it is turned on (subject to coverage limitations).

Performance and Diagnostic Data

We may collect performance and diagnostic data about your use of our network, networks you roam on, WiFi services or your device. For example, we may collect information about the performance of the device, signal strength, dropped calls, data failures, battery strength and other device or network performance issues. We may also collect information about applications on your device, the fact that an application has been added, when an application is launched or fails to launch, and length of time an application has been running.

Telematics

If you are a customer of the T-Mobile SyncUp connected car service, we, and our application provider, collect data from the SyncUp device in your car. This data includes driver behavior information such as acceleration and braking, speed, and RPM. The device also reports vehicle location via GPS and can report on common vehicle issues called Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).

Video Data

When you use a T-Mobile video application, for example T-Mobile TV, on your device, we may collect information about the programs you watch to determine customer viewing habits so that we can tailor video selections to you or our customers.

Back Up and Cloud Services

Some devices may automatically upload to T-Mobile network servers information you have stored on the device and/or SIM card in order to facilitate specific functions. For instance, some devices may back-up your address book, photo album, or diagnostic data. You may choose to disable such uploads, but this may affect functionality of the device or your services. We may also provide you the ability to upload other information from your device to T-Mobile or third-party network servers. For instance, you may have the option to upload pictures, text messages, recordings, calendars, tasks, or notes.

Collection of Information About Children

We do not knowingly solicit children to purchase our services or products. If, however, you authorize a child to use our services or products by providing them a device associated with your account, any information associated with such use will be treated as your information in accordance with this Statement. If you are the primary account holder, you will have the ability to set the marketing preferences for any other lines on your account, including those for any children to whom you provide a device.

Our websites are not designed to attract children under the age of 13 and we do not intentionally or knowingly collect Personal Information on our websites from anyone under the age of 13. We encourage parents to be involved in the online activities (including wireless Internet browsing) of their children to ensure that no information is collected from a child without parental permission.

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Does the service allow the user to control whether personal data is used or collected for non-critical purposes? On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses

3/5

Decided Sept. 14, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Some services allow users to opt-out or opt-in to of non-critical collection or use of personal data, such as collecting data for personalized advertisements.

Possible Options

No0/5
On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses1.5/5
On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses3/5
N/A (no data used for non-critical purposes)5/5
On an opt-in basis5/5

Citation

We may use information we collect to contact you about T-Mobile or third-party products, services, and offers that we believe you may find of interest. We may contact you by telephone, postal mail, e-mail, or other methods. You may opt-out of receiving marketing communications from us at any time as outlined below in Choices Regarding Use of Your Information.

...

You can opt-out of targeted ads provided by most advertising networks.

...

We may send you communications about services or products we, or our partners, sell. We want to provide you with meaningful choices regarding our marketing communications, and you may choose to limit or opt-out of some marketing communications from us at any time.

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Transparency

Does the policy require users to be notified in case of a data breach? No

0/7

Decided Sept. 14, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 8% of the final score.

Note that all companies operating in the EU are subject to Art. 33 of the GDPR, which requires companies to notify their data protection authority of a data breach within 72 hours of discovering it.

Possible Options

No0/7
Yes, eventually5/7
Yes, within 72 hours7/7
N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)7/7

Note

The Privacy Policy has no information on contacting users when a data breach occurs. T-Mobile has previously notified affected customers of data breaches on two separate occasions — once in 2015 and again in 2018.

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Is the policy's history made available? Only the date it was last modified

3/5

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Only the date it was last modified3/5
Yes, with revisions or a change-log5/5

Note

The policy lists the date it was last modified at the top of the page.

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Will the affected users be notified when the policy is meaningfully changed? Yes

5/5

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes5/5
N/A (no personal data—or contact information—collected)5/5

Citation

How We Communicate Changes to This Statement

We may update this Statement at any time to provide updates to or clarification of our practices. If we make changes, we will revise the date at the top of the Statement. If we propose to use Personal Information in a materially different way, we will provide you with notice by posting notice of the changes on our website for at least 30 days before we implement those changes, and obtain your consent as specified above for any material change regarding disclosure of Personal Information. You should refer to this Statement often for the latest information and the effective date of any changes.

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Does the policy outline the service's general security practices? Somewhat

1/3

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 4% of the final score.

The policy provides only a very vague overview of its security practices.

Possible Options

No0/3
Somewhat1/3
Yes2/3
Yes, including audits2.5/3
N/A (no personal data collected)3/3
Yes, including independent audits3/3

Citation

Protecting Your Information

We use a variety of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect Personal Information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure while it is under our control. We provide password protected online access to your account information through my.t-mobile.com. For multi-line accounts, the primary account holder is authorized to access online account information for all the devices and lines on the account. Other users may generally access online account information related only to their respective device and line (for example, if a parent provides a device to their child, the child may access online information about that device and line– including CPNI). The primary account holder, however, may designate additional or more limited access rights for other users on the account. Under federal law, you have a right, and we have a duty, to protect the confidentiality of CPNI and we have adopted statements and procedures designed to ensure compliance with those rules. We will not intentionally disclose your CPNI to third-parties without your permission, except as allowed under FCC rules, applicable law, or explained in this Statement. However, if you are the primary account holder, you may designate other "authorized users" (for example, a spouse) to access and manage your account information, including CPNI. For more information see CPNI

Retention and Disposal

We retain information only for as long as we have a business or tax need or as applicable laws, regulations, or government orders require. When we dispose of Personal Information, we use reasonable procedures designed to erase or render it unreadable (for example, shredding documents and wiping electronic media).

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Handling

Does the service allow third-party access to private personal data? Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)

7/10

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This may come in the form of outright data sharing or by using local third-party analytics software (such as Google Analytics, which collects a plethora of user information).

Note that whether the policy allows sharing aggregated user data does not affect this question.

If the personal data is encrypted when it passes through the third-party, it does not count as third-party access (as the data is inaccessible to that party).

If personal data has been made public by, for example, posting it to a blog, it does not count as private personal information (and is therefore not considered by this question).

Possible Options

Yes, not all parties specified0/10
Yes, all parties specified (including non-critical service providers such as advertisers)3/10
Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)7/10
Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)8/10
No10/10

Citation

WHEN WE SHARE INFORMATION COLLECTED ABOUT YOU

We do not sell, license, rent, or otherwise provide your Personal Information to unaffiliated third-parties (parties outside the T-Mobile corporate family) to market their services or products to you without your consent. We may, however, disclose your information to unaffiliated third-parties as follows:

With Your Consent

We may disclose Personal Information about you to third-parties with your consent. We may obtain your consent in writing; online, through "click-through" agreements; when you accept the terms of disclosures on your phone for certain applications or services; orally, in our stores or on the phone, including through interactive voice response, or implicitly, for example, when you purchase a product and ask that it be shipped to your home, consenting to our disclosure of your name and address to a third-party shipping company to complete delivery.

To the Primary Account Holder

We may disclose information about an account user to the primary account holder (the party financially responsible for the account). If a business, governmental agency, or other individual obtains service for you, that entity or individual is our customer, and we may provide information about you or your use of the service, products or devices to them or others at their direction. When you are the primary account holder, but you receive special or discounted pricing, terms, or other benefits through another party’s agreement with us (for example, an employee discount), we may provide enough information to that party to verify your initial and continuing eligibility for benefits under their agreement with us and to calculate any associated discounts.

To Our Service Providers

We may disclose information to third-party vendors and partners who complete transactions or perform services on our behalf (for example, credit/debit card processing, billing, shipping, repair, customer service, auditing, and marketing).

Third-Party Carriers and Suppliers

If you are roaming on the network of another carrier or WiFi service provider, your wireless telephone number, your location, the numbers you dial, and other information about your usage will be available to that carrier to facilitate that service. Additionally, services and functionality offered through certain devices are sometimes provided in conjunction with entities other than T-Mobile. As a result, Personal Information from your devices may be uploaded and stored on their servers. For instance, BlackBerry® service is provided in conjunction with Research in Motion (RIM), and Personal Information from your device is stored on their BlackBerry Enterprise Servers™. Their specific terms and conditions, terms of use, and privacy statements apply to those services.

In a Business Transfer

We may sell, disclose, or transfer information about you as part of a corporate business transaction, such as a merger or acquisition, joint venture, corporate reorganization, financing, or sale of company assets, or in the unlikely event of insolvency, bankruptcy, or receivership, in which such information could be transferred to third-parties as a business asset in the transaction. We may also share information with banks for purposes of transferring loans in connection with your device financing.

For Legal Process & Protection

We may disclose Personal Information, and other information about you, or your communications, where we have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary:

  • To satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request;

  • To enforce or apply agreements, or initiate, render, bill, and collect for services and products (including to collection agencies in order to obtain payment for our products and services);

  • To protect our rights or interests, property or safety or that of others; In connection with claims, disputes, or litigation – in court or elsewhere;

  • To protect users of our services and other carriers or providers from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, such services;

  • When information is reported to the Spam Reporting Service, it may be shared with government agencies and others that work to combat spam and prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair practices;

  • To facilitate or verify the appropriate calculation of taxes, fees, or other obligations due to a local, state, or federal government; or

  • In an emergency situation.

Co-Sponsored Websites and Partners

If you provide information to us in connection with a co-sponsored website, this Statement will apply to our use of the information and the co-sponsor’s statement will apply to their use of the information. If you purchase equipment or activate service at one of our partner’s locations (including websites of such dealer or retailer), they may request information from you that is passed to us as part of the activation process, but which may also be retained by the partner. This Statement will govern our use of such information, and the partner’s privacy statement will govern its use of such information.

De-Identified Information

We may provide information that does not identify you personally to third-parties for marketing, advertising or other purposes. For more information about our INSIGHTS Program see T-Mobile INSIGHTS

Third-Party Applications for Your Devices

We are not responsible for the third-party applications (for example, applications, programs, widgets, etc.) you select and install on your device. When you install third party applications, you may give your consent for the third party to access information stored on the device and on our network to facilitate the application’s functions (for example, you may consent to third-party access to your location information – see Location Based Services). The manner in which such third-parties may use, share, or disclose such information is governed by the terms and conditions and privacy statement provided by that third party – not by this Statement. For more information, see Device Apps

....

Location-Based Services If your device is turned on, our network is collecting data about the device location. We may use, provide access to, or disclose this network location data without your approval to provide and support our services, including to route wireless communications, operate and improve our network and business, detect and prevent fraud, provide emergency responders information about how to find you when you call 911, or as required by law or emergency.

Depending on your device, you may be able to obtain services (such as mapping or ride-sharing service) that use the location of your device. These services, referred to as Location-Based Services (“LBS”), are generally provided by third-parties in connection with apps or websites. Third-party LBS providers generally use your device operating system’s location capabilities, which can determine location independent of our network, to derive device location. We do not share network location data with third-party LBS providers for their LBS. It is important that you understand the location capabilities and settings of your device and the privacy policies and terms under which third-party LBS are provided.

In some cases, T-Mobile may provide LBS services. Where we do so, we will request your permission before we access precise location data to support the service. If you have previously consented to our app or service accessing precise location data, you may revoke that permission at any time through the device’s operating system location preference controls or the app settings. You may also follow the standard uninstall process to remove the app from your device.

T-Mobile follows the CTIA’s Best Practices Guidelines for Location-Based Services, which are available here. For additional details, please review our article on Location Services in the T-Mobile Privacy Center.

....

Advertising You may see T-Mobile and other advertisements on your devices - whether you are connected to our network or using another connection method (e.g., WiFi or wireline connections). In some cases, these ads may be targeted to your device based on information the advertiser has gathered about your prior online or offline behavior, or other data about your interests. These online ads are sometimes called “interest-based” or “targeted” ads.

Like most companies that operate commercial websites or apps, T-Mobile works with advertising networks, which collect certain information about our site and app visitors, serve ads on our behalf, and measure their effectiveness. The advertising networks that provide these ads may place cookies, web beacons, or use similar technologies on their partners’ websites and apps, including T-Mobile’s. This technology allows them to track device activity over time across online properties – but we don’t allow these advertising networks to collect information on our websites or apps that identifies you personally (such as your name, address, or phone number). Their use of these technologies and of the information collected is subject to their own privacy policies and those of the sites where they operate. You can opt-out of targeted ads provided by most advertising networks. Please be aware, however, that even if you opt-out of interest-based ads, you will continue to see just as many ads, but they may not be as relevant to you.

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Does the policy allow personally-targeted or behavioral marketing? Yes, but you can opt-out

3.5/10

Decided Sept. 16, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Yes, but you can opt-out3.5/10
Yes, but you must opt-in7/10
No10/10

Citation

You may see T-Mobile and other advertisements on your devices - whether you are connected to our network or using another connection method (e.g., WiFi or wireline connections). In some cases, these ads may be targeted to your device based on information the advertiser has gathered about your prior online or offline behavior, or other data about your interests. These online ads are sometimes called “interest-based” or “targeted” ads.

Like most companies that operate commercial websites or apps, T-Mobile works with advertising networks, which collect certain information about our site and app visitors, serve ads on our behalf, and measure their effectiveness. The advertising networks that provide these ads may place cookies, web beacons, or use similar technologies on their partners’ websites and apps, including T-Mobile’s. This technology allows them to track device activity over time across online properties – but we don’t allow these advertising networks to collect information on our websites or apps that identifies you personally (such as your name, address, or phone number). Their use of these technologies and of the information collected is subject to their own privacy policies and those of the sites where they operate. You can opt-out of targeted ads provided by most advertising networks. Please be aware, however, that even if you opt-out of interest-based ads, you will continue to see just as many ads, but they may not be as relevant to you.

Ads on Your Mobile Device, Computer or Other Device

You can opt-out of targeted ads served on your mobile device or computer by most advertising networks as follows:

  • By clicking on the AdChoices iconYourAdChoices on any interest-based ad.

  • By visiting http://www.aboutads.info/choices/.

In most cases your opt-out choice will apply only to the specific device on which it was made. You may need to separately opt-out from your other devices. If the opt-out mechanism is cookie-based (such as the AdChoices program) and you delete cookies from your browser or reset your device, you may need to perform the opt-out again. To learn more about ad targeting and how to opt-out of interest-based ads, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/choices/.

You can also partially manage targeted ads on your mobile device through your device operating system’s settings for advertising IDs. Resetting your device advertising ID does not opt-out the device from targeted ads, but it may limit advertisers’ ability to associate past activity with your device. Refer to your specific OS for details.

Please note these opt-outs may not impact “contextual” advertisements (e.g., a sporting goods advertisement you see on a sports-themed website) or ads we place on our own websites and apps based on your activity within those properties.

Ads on Social Media We may work with social media websites or platforms (such as Facebook or Twitter) to serve targeted ads to you as part of a customized social media campaign. You can opt-out of receiving customized ads on your social media platforms by changing your ad preferences on those platforms, which we do not control.

We adhere to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (“DAA”) Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. For additional details, please review our article on Advertising Choice in the T-Mobile Privacy Center.

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When does the policy allow law enforcement access to personal data? When reasonably requested

3/5

Decided Sept. 14, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

Always0/5
Not specified0/5
When reasonably requested3/5
Only when required by a court order or subpoena4/5
N/A (no personal data to share)5/5
Never (special legal jurisdiction)5/5

Citation

We may disclose Personal Information, and other information about you, or your communications, where we have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary:

  • To satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request;

  • To enforce or apply agreements, or initiate, render, bill, and collect for services and products (including to collection agencies in order to obtain payment for our products and services);

  • To protect our rights or interests, property or safety or that of others;

  • In connection with claims, disputes, or litigation – in court or elsewhere;

  • To protect users of our services and other carriers or providers from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, such services;

  • When information is reported to the Spam Reporting Service, it may be shared with government agencies and others that work to combat spam and prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair practices;

  • To facilitate or verify the appropriate calculation of taxes, fees, or other obligations due to a local, state, or federal government; or

  • In an emergency situation.

...

If your device is turned on, our network is collecting data about the device location. We may use, provide access to, or disclose this network location data without your approval to provide and support our services, including to route wireless communications, operate and improve our network and business, detect and prevent fraud, provide emergency responders information about how to find you when you call 911, or as required by law or emergency.

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Does the service allow you to permanently delete your personal data? No

0/5

Decided Sept. 14, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Even if there is a reasonable delay before the data is fully deleted (as is common), the data still counts as "permanently deleted" and satisfies the parameters for this question.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes, by contacting someone3/5
Yes, using an automated mechanism5/5
N/A (no personal information collected)5/5

Note

The Privacy Policy has no information on deleting account information. T-Mobile's Financial Privacy Policy mentions that "When you are no longer our customer, we continue to share your information as described in this notice," indicating that customers' financial data will continue to be shared with third parties even after they close their account for some business and marketing-related purposes.

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Warnings

T-Mobile has no warnings published on PrivacySpy. PrivacySpy publishes warnings when it learns a service has announced a data breach or is found misusing user data. If you believe a warning should be published for T-Mobile, submit one here.


Highlighted Policy Snapshot ALPHA

Highlighted policy snapshots are a highly experimental feature that provide an annotated version of the privacy policy (displayed in a simplified 'reader view') with automatically-generated highlights. This feature is still in its early stages, so apologies if things don't look right!

4.6/10

How we calculate ratings →


Version Added

Sept. 13, 2019

Ratings Updated

Sept. 16, 2019

Warnings

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