In the bundesrat a law from the day before yesterday is discussed

For seven years now, the federal government and the. The federal network agency has been working on a draft for a new emergency call regulation. But even in 2011, only telephone and fax will be used for emergency calls.

Neither sms nor gps

Sms and gps are considered unreliable and inaccurate in german government offices. But in case of war, also german militaries are talking about it "accurate", because gps-guided missiles. According to german officials, a text message does not ensure that it reaches its destination quickly enough.

On the other hand, volunteer fire departments in germany mobilize their members by sms and ame that the firemen (and women) will quickly go to the scene of the fire. As everyone can convince himself, it works also.

In addition, there are cases when sms is the only way to send an emergency call. For example, when a deaf person has an accident while walking in the nature and there is no house nearby and he needs help. It is a pity that there is no fax machine hanging on the nearest tree. Here the official acceptance of sms as a means of communication would be a real help. Technically this is no longer a problem. It is already common practice in great britain and in luxembourg. And also in berlin and brandenburg the possibility exists to send an emergency call by sms. In saarland, this has been possible since 2007.

But the bureaucrats in the federal ministry of economics, in the federal network agency and in numerous state ministries are sticking to their guns – in the future, emergency calls will only be possible by phone or fax.

Emergency call by fax from the accident car?

As already mentioned, some of the officials in the ministries find the sms too slow and too insecure. But this is better than having to rely on the telephone and fax, counter the disobedient, and they have good arguments in their favor. Imagine: a deaf man, possibly injured or trapped, sits in his crashed car in a ditch, surrounded by a lot of territory, but not a soul. Too bad he doesn’t have a fax in his car now to make an emergency call. He has no alternative to phone calls – a text message from his cell phone would be a real alternative. Or a gps signal, sent from a cell phone or from the car. But also gps do not provide for the federal emergency call administrators.

In the "technical guideline emergency call connections" short "tr emergency call" in october 2010, the german federal network agency (bundesnetzagentur), which is responsible for this area, defines what is meant by a "emergency call connection" is officially understood:

Telephone or telefax connection established through a publicly available telephone service to an emergency line, initiated by dialing an emergency number or by sending signaling information provided for in the technical standards for the design of telecommunications networks exclusively for emergency calls.

This formulation does not originate from the early 80’s, but actually from october 2010.

New technology only at allianz?

While officially thus sms or gps are further not intended, the private assistance offerer alliance locating service gmbh on its homepage tells something of all-newest technology, which comes in co-operation with the rescue services to the employment.

The consistent improvement of german and european emergency assistance is the goal of allianz ortungsservices gmbh. The company uses state-of-the-art technology and develops new products that make emergency locating even easier, safer and more reliable. Allianz ortungsservices gmbh provides the "locating in emergency" to all rescue control centers already connected to the system. In the long term, all european rescue control centers should be equipped with access to the secure localization system. In the event of an emergency, the rescue control center can use the tracking platform "lifeservice112" locate any mobile phone with the help of lbs and gps tracking. This can significantly shorten the time until the arrival of rescue forces…

Quote from the allianz advertising text

It is hard to believe that allianz actually has to comply with the requirements of the federal network agency. But the insurance giant doesn’t seem to take it so exactly with the applicable regulations.

Allianz can locate cell phones

How allianz came to have its own cell phone tracking system was already reported in telepolis. (alliance can track cell phones).

The bjorn steiger foundation, which is recognized in the field of emergency communications, developed the tracking system now used by allianz in 2005 and introduced it in german emergency call centers in 2006. Due to a – as was to be shown later – substantively completely unfounded criminal tax proceeding, the platform was parked by the foundation in a separate company with the name bjorn steiger stiftung service gemeinnutzige gmbh. Allianz took over 90 percent of the shares and thus ensured the continued operation of the platform. But after the tax proceedings were dropped, it did not return the platform to the steiger foundation, as the steigers had hoped, but kept it and parted ways with pierre steiger and the other foundation employees.

Allianz wants to track cell phones

Despite numerous publicly communicated concerns of the emergency call centers, allianz officially took over the command of the positioning platform for the german emergency call centers and gave itself the new name allianz ortungsservices gmbh (aos).

Legal, illegal, allianz

Until the telecommunications act was amended in 2009, it was sufficient for the person concerned to give their verbal consent before a cell phone was located and for this consent to be recorded on tape. Since 2009, written consent of the person to be tracked has been required by law.

Allianz has allegedly not communicated this fact to the emergency call centers since then. It was decided that the tracking platform did not fall under §98 tkg as stated by the foundation, but under §108 tkg. The difference between the two paragraphs is in fact that §108 tkg explicitly provides for the tracking of emergency call centers without consent. In order to fall under this regulation, however, one must either operate a 110/112 emergency call center oneself or be a technical fulfillment assistant of the german network operators. Since allianz is known to be neither the police nor the fire department, from now on it felt like the network operators’ technical accomplice. The emergency call centers did not know about all this for a long time. In september 2010, the lifesavers received mail from allianz asking them to sign a new contract on the basis of §108 tkg, which identified allianz as a vicarious agent of the network operators. This agreement was met with scepticism by several emergency call centers. It was not possible to find out by the editorial deadline how many of the emergency call centers had signed it.

At least "unclear" is also the legal relationship between allianz ortung (aos) and the network operators. While vodafone confirmed to telepolis that it had "entered into a contract with allianz ortungsservices gmbh (aos) in order to fulfill our obligations under § 108 par. 1 sentence 2 of the german telecommunications act (tkg)", when asked, t-mobile and e-plus denied the existence of a contract for vicarious agents, which is necessary for the "contract for vicarious agents" and on this point contradicted the representation of allianz. T-mobile informed us in writing: "in this respect, the aos is not our "our agent", since aos does not carry out any order processing for us." e-plus even gave allianz access to the tracking capability for the first time. January 2011 announced. Allianz stated in this regard "as you know, e-plus has not cooperated with the aos since 2011. The exit was due to a general, strategic decision by the company and has nothing to do with the aos."

This means that the emergency call centers now need a signature for locating data due to the contractual and legal situation and the changed legal situation, but this is not communicated to them. This at least raises the question of whether allianz is thus inciting the emergency call centers to misuse data and to "crime" tempts. It is possible that allianz also offers insurance against this…

Bill from the day before yesterday

Now the telecommunication law is changing again this year and the bjorn steiger foundation, which wants to re-enter the field on its own with the end of the non-competition clause, sees the changes in the law as a step backwards in emergency assistance and the end of the previous and better location methods and has called on the emergency call centers to resist this law.

Allianz sees this quite differently. In an information to the emergency call centers, it is emphasized that the allianz system is not affected by this regulation. Word for word: "allianz ortungsservices gmbh will continue to provide the existing emergency locating service as usual, irrespective of the changes in the law." however, upon request by telepolis, the responsible federal network agency stated: "the locating procedure used by aos is not described in the current draft of tr notruf." the question arises whether what is not mentioned in the law is allowed at all.

Allianz tracking also in case of car breakdown

Meanwhile, allianz no longer sees itself as a corporation, but as a non-profit company, since it provides a service for the general public.

How generally the alliance operates the topic locating, one can see topically with the car club of germany (avd). The latter offers alliance tracking for its own emergency roadside calls and directly advertises that it uses the same tracking platform as police and ambulance call centers. Upon request, the avd informed us in writing: "just like the rescue coordination centers, the avd also has allianz ortungsservices gmbh as a service provider and uses the same system".

Allianz itself operates a service under the name allianz help which is available to allianz policyholders; here, too, the reference to the aos platform for tracking can be found in the general terms and conditions.

Whether this is legally and contractually permitted, telepolis wanted to know from the network operators. T-mobile replied in writing:

A contractual obligation stipulates that the location data is made available exclusively to the emergency call centers, which have previously concluded a location contract with the aos that is specified in detail by telekom. The retrieval of location information by aos is only allowed for users who have called an emergency call center under the number 110 or 112 immediately beforehand.


The bjorn steiger foundation is committed to bringing the telecommunications act (tkg), which is currently under discussion in the bundesrat, into line with the technical standards of the present day and, secondly, to making its own, alliance-independent positioning capability available again as quickly as possible on a secure legal and contractual basis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.