New SBB-App – Still a little bit of tact when privacy promises to be a new App of the Federal Railways a “first step in the future of mobility”. However, it quickly becomes clear that step one of many personal data.Opinion Matthias Schüssler0 KommentareDie App learns your users are familiar with and makes its own proposals.Photo: SBB

The Mobile App, the SBB serves as an electronic course book. She also sells tickets and shows the routes or General subscription. It is a passive service provider to: take the App to have on Hand when planning a trip, or on the road.

The SBB have recently also an App in the offer, which plays an active role. The App is called Smartway, and you will learn the travel behavior of the Users know. In this way, you will be able to independently make proposals, for example, in the case of malfunctions or if at the current location, alternative possibilities exist, for example, car-sharing cars, rental cycles, or electric Scooters to Borrow.

This sounds exciting – and the SBB promise because, as a user, you do with this App (which there is for the iPhone/iPad and for Android) “the first step in the future of mobility”.

Login with the Swiss pass, recording the location data

But if you take this App into operation, is a clear very quickly: This glimpse into the future of mobility comes at a cost-many of the personal data: The App does not work anonymously, but only with the registration by Swiss pass. And calls for far-reaching permissions.

first, the App asks for access to the activity and location data of the smartphone – and not only during use, but constant. Although there is the option to pause the recording of the data, but then the App is denied the service until you activate the data collection again.

The App collects data around the clock, even when not in use.Screenshot: shake.With the paused location recording, the App is denied the service.Screenshot: shake.If you have granted the permissions, the App provides travel information: Here, in addition to the train and bus connections to Carsharing.Screenshot: shake.1 / 4

Secondly, the App also asks about the Fitness and activity data. The iPhone requires Apps for such access to personal data indicates a justification. The Smartway App explained, this Information was necessary for “a precise step-by-step Navigation to your destination”. However, Other Apps that guide the user safely to its destination, you do not need this information – why should we give you here price?

This hunger for Data is compared to other similar Apps very far. The recently presented here App city mapper, for example, works without any fitness data, and you do not also need permanent access to the site, but only when using. Nevertheless, it is in the location, such as Smartway, a so-called multi-modal trip planning services. Also it takes into account not only public transport but also bike, E-Scooters and foot trails, and a variety of transport can combine options for a trip.

The data protection demands transparency

The SBB does not have the best reputation in terms of privacy: In the case of the introduction of the Swiss pass, the Federal motorways, the concerns will not entirely dissipate, with the electronic customer card of motion profiles of the customers could be created. The Swiss Federal data protection has insisted on more transparency.

in recent times, the SBB stood in the criticism: A Bon Entendeur “of the West Swiss radio has demonstrated” that the main-App, the SBB (Mobile) exchanges a lot of data with Google and users are also identifiable.

It is at this point, the question of whether the new data collected will help the users – but especially the SBB. It is out of the question is, how valuable is data on the mobility behaviour of customers for a transportation company. They help Optimize the offer, and they are essential for strategic Decisions.

The privacy provisions give a clear indication that the SBB intends to use the new App for their own purposes: “We may use the data collected in anonymised Form as well as with additional non-personal information, such as aggregated flows of Commuters complement analyse (), in order to improve our services,” makes it perfectly clear.

Three tips for confidence-building measures

in other words: users who value their privacy, can not use this App with a clear Conscience. But there are three measures, with which the SBB could increase the level of trust:

It should be possible to use the App without constant Ortsaufzeichnung. Users have the possibility to use at least part of the functions and to take advantage of the multi-modal journey planning, without but your complete motion profile is visible.

– Personal data are of value for you: health insurance companies, for example, from praise of premiums to users who are willing to make their fitness data available. The SBB should allow users to activate the location recording a hefty discount.

And finally, is it when you install the App it is not clear, what do you get as a user in return. In order to make the tangible, could be cleared to offer the SBB on a test run of a certain duration, at the end of the collected data, fully automatically and without leaving any residue – so you could assess as a user, whether the data donation is worth it or not.

A detailed Test of the App can be found here.

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