Why we collect product usage information
We collect information about how you use Telstra products so that we can improve our products and make them more relevant. We also use the data to maintain and improve our network, to report aggregate statistics to advertisers and business partners, and for billing purposes.
We do not share your product usage information with other businesses, other than in accordance with our Privacy Statement.
We may share aggregated and anonymised information with our business partners for research and analysis, marketing, advertising or other similar uses. We take steps to ensure anonymised information cannot be re-identified.
Learn more about anonymising and aggregating.
Types of product usage information
We collect information about how you use our products and services through four main channels:
- Mobile and other phones
This includes numbers you call or message, call length and call location. It also covers data sessions such as browsing websites and checking your emails on your phone.
- Location information
Your general location can be identified from your IP address, and inferred from cellular and Wi-Fi signals. We may also detect when you are near proximity beacon devices installed in physical locations such as stores. Your mobile device can also transmit your precise location.
- Internet Services
We collect and process information about how you use our internet services, with different access, usage and disclosure characteristics that depend on differing sensitivities of the data.
- Network assurance
In order to connect customers to the content they want to view, our network collects information including when a connection is made, what device is used and the URL (e.g. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria). For encrypted websites (i.e. URLs that begin with https), we only record the domain name (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/), so while we can tell that a connection to YouTube was made, we cannot tell which video was watched.
The information we collect at this layer is used to assure our internet service quality by monitoring and rectifying disruptions to our network’s performance. The information includes an identifier that could potentially be connected to your device or account; however, we do not actively undertake any such connection at this point. Only a very limited team of people within Telstra have access to this information.
The information in this layer is only stored for around 30 days before being deleted.
- Administration and marketing
We process the data from the network described above by categorising the connections – either into high-level groups such as streaming video, social media, or e-mail; or, one of the most commonly used websites or apps (excluding those of a sensitive nature such as dating, gambling and political sites or apps). We then connect this aggregated usage data with the associated customer.
We use this aggregated information for two purposes: billing and tailored marketing.
- Billing: For example, we may use this data to inform you that 25% of your mobile data usage was used to connect to streaming music services.
- Tailored marketing: For example, if you are a heavy social media user, we may make tailored product or service offers that could be of interest to you.
- Product management
We then de-identify the data to create and aggregated and anonymised view. This provide us with high-level information on trends and preferences. We use this aggregated information to improve and develop our products and services. For example, we may discover that 30-40 year olds in capital cities are the heaviest users of fitness-related apps, which may prompt us to explore new products or bundles involving fitness wearbales aimed at that segment of the market.
- Research applications
We may share aggregated and anonymised data insights with select business partners. When this happens, we protect the privacy of our customers by applying sophisticated techniques to the aggregated and anonymised data so that it cannot be re-identified. These data insights are used in industries such as transport and infrastructure planning, resource management and event performance measurements. For example, we can estimate how many people are in or around Melbourne Cricket Ground on a typical Saturday afternoon, but not exactly who.
- Network assurance
- Telstra apps (such as the My Telstra app)
This includes which buttons you tap, and your configuration choices.
Other companies can also collect usage information from your Telstra product or service. For example, your mobile handset manufacturer may be able to locate your device. The operators of websites you visit can log your activity and may be able to locate you. Mobile applications you download can log your activity including web browsing, and may be able to locate you directly from your handset or the operating system.
The use of your information collected by other companies is not under the direct control of Telstra and is not governed by our Privacy Statement.