New European data collection laws seem to outlaw ham-digital’s ‘Last heard’ system

posted in: c#, Ham radio | 7

I don’t know whether this is definitely why the ham-digital “Last Heard” page now longer seems to display up to date data, but recent changes to the law in Europe look like they now prevent from logging the DRM network activity.

The result of this, is that the Download Contacts data-feed I was using is no longer getting fresh data, and basically is no longer usable

I wonder how can still continue to operate, as Brandmesiter must be collecting data e.g. the fact that a station is transmitting, so I wonder if they will also be legally required to cease doing this, because none of the stations who is having their data collected have explicitly agreed to them doing this.


So as a partial solution, I’ve added a function to download the contacts database from DMR MARC, filtered by the users Region Prefix number (which is automatically filled in from their Radio ID). e.g. 505 for Australia , 234 for the UK.


This is not an ideal solution, because the DMR MARC database now contains over 90,000 ID’s, and the GD-77 can only hold 1024 contacts including TalkGroups, and even with filtering them by region prefix, still shows all ID ever registered for that region, which is bound to be too many to fully import.

In Australia I have noticed there are around 400 ID’s which have never been heard on the DMR network, but there is no way to know that information now that ham-digital are not allowed to log this data.

As the data collection law only seems to apply to Europe (and possibly some other countries who enact European laws e.g. UK ?), it would be possible for organisations in other counties to take over the logging,


One other option which I think could be a good temporary work-around is to get the CPS to store the last copy of the DMR MARC data file (CSV) then compare that with the copy it downloads, so it can compare them and find which are new IDs.


But its not a perfect fix.


Unfortunately the GD-77 only has a 1Mb storage chip inside, and most of this seems to be taken up with the codeplug and some Chinese fonts, so it would not be possible for Radioddity to increase the number of DMR_ID’s that the radio could hold.


If anyone has some other ideas on better ways to solve this problem, I’d be keen to hear them.


As usual the latest “development” versions are here







7 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I would guess that maybe brandmeister’s headquarters in the US or another non-european country? I’m not as familiar with it as the repeaters near me all use DMR-MARC and I don’t run a hotspot yet.

  2. kenneth adams

    I would guess that the brandmeister headquarters is located in the US or another non-European country.I’m not as familiar with brandmeister though. All of the repeaters near me utilize the DMR-MARC system and I don’t currently have a hotspot.

  3. Roger Clark

    Their WhoIs record seems to suggest they are in the Netherlands

    And there main server is in Germany. seem to be hosted in France

    So as far as I can see they will probably would have to follow Ham-digital’s lead and stop recording this data.

    Its a shame that the new laws probably have unintended consequences

  4. kenneth adams

    I didn’t even think to look at the who-is data. Great thinking… Laws unfortunately do have unintended consequences. Hands-free cell phone laws here in the US have done that. California’s law accidentally? originally (I think it has changed) included the use of mobile radios by ham operators. Luckily, other states have specifically allowed hams to use their mobiles when they wrote their laws.

  5. Roger Clark

    I just heard on the news that Facebook have now changed their T&C’s and are supposedly relocating the official location of all their users data, from Ireland to the USA.
    They appear to be doing this, because all data official stored etc in Ireland comes under the EU law, and would give all FB users the same rights as EU citizens.

    I suppose Brandmeister could move their data collection and servers, outside the EU, but as they seem to be a EU base organisation, I don’t think that would help them.

  6. Steve K2GOG

    GDPR is the data privacy ruling that goes into effect end of May. It will then likely filter out across the world as a “best practice”

  7. Roger Clark

    I think it remains to be seen who adopts this.

    I noticed on it now has this text

    Do not use the information broadcasted here without explicit consent of the persons involved in a conversation!

    I can’t quite see how this makes them comply with GDPR, because they must be collecting data, as they show the last 5 mins worth of callsigns and TG’s etc.

    I forgot who told me, but someone thought that DMR MARC may remove all data apart from ID and callsign from their downloads.(and I presume their whole database)