Dutch DPA on Wifi Tracking in relation to GDPR

Wifi tracking is subject to strict privacy rules and is therefore permitted in very few cases. This is reported by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) in response to questions about this subject. Wifi tracking is tracking people through their mobile devices. The signal from mobile phones is used to monitor groups of people. In practice, companies use this technique for example in and around shopping centers or other (semi-) public places such as stations.

According to the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP), however, it almost always concerns the processing of personal data and is therefore subject to strict rules. “Digital monitoring of people in (semi-) public places is a violation of privacy that can only be used exceptionally,” says AP Chairman Aleid Wolfsen. “There are virtually no reasons legitimate to follow shoppers or travelers, and there are less drastic methods to achieve the same goal, without violating privacy.” Even if the data are processed and saved in anonymous form, the General Data Protection Regulation applies, according to the AP.

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