Call detail records (CDRs) are collected by mobile network operators in the course of service provision and are increasingly being used in health research.
We know that work is needed to show that CDRs can be used within an ethically-founded framework that meets with social acceptability. MORPHeD set out to review the published research literature to identify data governance arrangements, challenges and potential opportunities for the greater use of the location element of CDRs in health research.
We conducted three workshops to gain views from the public on the use of CDRs for health research. We constructed data-use scenarios of CDRs for health research to consider risk and mitigating controls. We then drew the findings together against a backdrop of legislative and regulatory requirements.
Our research has led us to make recommendations towards an ethically-founded framework for using CDR locations in health research.
These include the need for:
- greater transparency,
- greater accountability,
- the incorporation of public views.