Telefonica eyes slice of data-sharing pie for users

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Telefonica eyes slice of data-sharing pie for users

Madrid (AFP) – Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is working on a platform that could allow its clients to ask to be paid for the use of their personal data by internet titans like Google and Facebook, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

The goal is to “let clients know what data internet firms have, so the client can decide what to do with them”, the spokesman told AFP.

The company, which is amongst the five biggest telecoms firms in the world, plans to launch the platform in 2017, he added.

The plan was presented by Telefonica chairman Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete on Monday in the northern city of Santander and it targets firms like Facebook and Google which profit by selling personal data to marketers.

The market for such personal consumer data is worth billions of dollars and its use by internet firms has come under fire from privacy watchdogs and consumers.

Last month popular messaging service WhatsApp said it would start sharing users’ phone numbers with parent Facebook, a move which will allow for more relevant advertisements on the social networking site.

The announcement sparked a flurry of articles in the press and online explaining how WhatsApp users could opt out of sharing account information with Facebook.

Telefonica, which provides mobile and fixed communication services primarily in the European Union and Latin America, reported a net profit last year of 2.75 billion euros ($3.07 billion).

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica provides mobile and fixed communication services primarily in the European Union and Latin America
Copyright AFP/File Diminique Faget

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