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To whom does data belong?

Data, data and data. It’s been a long time since we started our trip towards the Gigabit society. Last week, in the Santander Telecom Meeting, all conversations tried to get right the analysis and the proposals for the creation of a sustainable digital ecosystem.

The paradigm change introduced by the digital economy drives us to re-write key concepts over which the economy and society have been based. Privacy and security are probably the most evident, and for this reason, in a society in which data has become the new bargaining chip, the immediate question that appears is ¿to whom does data belong?

Telefónica’s President, José María Álvarez-Pallete, argued during the UIMP sessions that this data belongs to customers. “We are going to put data at the users’ disposal, and it is up to them to decide what they want to do with that information, if they share it or not”, he stated.

The new Telefónica proposal has a name: the 4th Platform. It’s a project in development that seeks to give users the control over the data generated both by the consumption of our products and services, and by the Internet navigation through Telefónica. In this way, Telefónica will put its platforms’ capacities at the users’ service so that their data does not reach third parties’ hands without their expressed consent and clear information.  In his intervention in Santander, Telefónica’s President made clear that the 4th Platform is an ongoing project that seeks the easiest and most transparent solution for the user to be the real sovereign of their data.

The 4th Platform will be the basis for a new type of relationship between customers and their data. So, ¿What would be the 4th Platform’s real added value for the customers?

The 4th Platform will help customers personalize their digital life with Telefónica in a much easier and natural way. With the “Bot” technology and artificial intelligence their questions can be answered, their services can be managed and they can be offered proactive assistance.

Moreover, with this platform Telefónica will be able to help companies, local authorities and governments to take better decisions, from anonymous and aggregated data.

To sum up, user privacy will be guaranteed, at the same time that new opportunities for the company and the society as a whole will be offered. Data sovereignty will reside with the user.

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Lourdes Tejedor / @madrid2day

Telefónica Public Policy & Telefónica España Regulatory teams