Skip links

Simon Hania: TomTom

Photo: Andreea M. Belu

Simon Hania is the Vice President on Privacy and Security at TomTom, a Dutch producer of traffic, navigation and mapping products. TomTom also makes action cameras, GPS sport watches, fleet management systems, and location-based products. During his talk at Europe’s first Data Ethics Forum, Simon presented ways in which TomTom deals with GDPR, the core principles of the company and touched on the company’s take on autonomous driving.

First stop was sport watches and wearables.  The point was made that by framing products’ development with user benefit in mind, this development process enables new functionalities. Further, Simon pointed that the type of data these devices collect is among the most sensitive one, such as heart rate, body fat or sleep-related. In order to be in line with GDPR, TomTom implemented a new measure: the user now explicitly switches on the analysis of data by the company in order to have a “fitness page”. Therefore, data can exist on the wearable device without TomTom having access to it, but if the user desires a analysis of this data within a time frame, for example, they will have to opt in for it.

Further, Simon presented the principles of Clarity, Control and Care. TomTom ensures its users understand the type of data collected, the way it’s being used and for how long but also who has access to it. Moreover, TomTom considers users own their data. Lastly, data is being safeguarded against unauthorized access and accidental loss.

Simon Hania touched on automated driving and the way his company prepares for this field. According to him, automated driving will increase traffic safety and address environmental concerns. But these vehicles also need maps.


Watch Simon Hania’s full presentation here.

Watch the rest of European Data Ethics Forum talks here.