27 September 2010

Mobile operators header enrichment assessment 6/6: Summary

During the last weeks I have been posting the results of header enrichment assessment I've done in several mobile operators. Let's do a quick check and summarize the results.

1) All operators in the same country have similar configurations. I was surprised to see how mobile operators appear to mimic other operators in the same territory.
2) Most operators have transparent proxies operating on the "Internet" connections.
3) As seen, some operators allow third parties to track users without the user consent and without allowing them to change or hide these traces. They add an HTTP header with an ID that uniquely identify the user. Some operators will change that ID every 24h like Orange Spain or Orange UK but some will keep the same ID forever. The worst ranking operators from the user privacy point of view are TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy, Telefonica Spain and Vodafone Spain.
4) Several ones are disclosing unnecessary information that reveals data that could be misused. From the information disclosure point of view the worst operator is Orange UK followed by SFR in France.
5) The winner of the header overhead would be Orange Spain which doubles all the Accept Headers,
6) and the winners of the header manipulation are TIM in Italy and Eplus in Germany.
I hope you enjoyed this series of posts. Feel free to leave your comment and let me know if some of the results change.


  1. Anonymous1/8/11 14:05

    Hi there,
    very interesting facts about header enrichment! Really Great! What about Switzerland? Did you test some Swiss based providers? Why not?
    a Swiss Guy

  2. Just Convenience. I managed to get SIMs for all major providers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK, but not from Switzerland.

  3. Hi Xuf

    Great study. Any update to this? I am trying to understand how Header enrichment can be used for mobile marketing purposes. Thanks