Positive data: consumer center is suing telecommunications companies

The consumer center NRW is suing telecommunications providers because of the transmission of positive data. They only appear harmless at first glance.

According to its own statements, the consumer center NRW has filed lawsuits against Telekom Germany, Vodafone and Telefonica. The consumer protection groups accused the telecommunications companies on Thursday of having transmitted so-called “positive data” from their customers to credit agencies without having obtained the consent of those affected.

In the opinion of the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center, they are violating the General Data Protection Regulation and must refrain from doing so.

However, Deutsche Telekom announced that it has not been transmitting any positive data to credit agencies or credit bureaus since the beginning of the year. The reason for this was the concerns of the data protection officers of the federal states. “We stopped it completely,” said a company spokesman. No comment was initially available from the other companies.

Positive data is information that does not include outstanding payments or other non-contractual behavior, but rather when a contract was concluded with whom. “The transmission of positive data may seem harmless at first glance, but any information about consumers can be used by companies to make tangible decisions,” said Wolfgang Schuldzinski, CEO of the NRW Consumer Advice Center, explaining the center’s approach.

A person who has several mobile phone contracts or who changes them frequently may be considered less trustworthy and will therefore not receive a contract, even if all bills have been paid on time.

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According to its own statements, the consumer advice center NRW had initially warned the providers Telefónica Germany, Telekom Germany and Vodafone without success. She has now sued Telefónica Germany before the Munich Regional Court, against Telekom Germany before the Cologne Regional Court and against Vodafone before the Düsseldorf Regional Court.