LONDON: A growing number of companies are mulling introducing redeemable incentives and forming partnerships to protect data in order to secure user consent for personal information ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation’s coming into force on 25 May this year.

Personal data startups, such as in the UK, or in the US, have been working in this space for some time, helping users to see the value of personal data. In terms of more established companies, Telefónica, the Spain-based international telco, has also decided to integrate this idea, collaborating with on an app in the German market, Telefónica NEXT.

Such services, People’s founder Nicholas Oliver told Bloomberg, are about making clear to consumers that they are handing over information. “We don’t want to hide the monetary value of people’s data,” he said. “We want to make it explicit.”

Even before GDPR, gaining permission from consumers has been a tricky task as many will abandon an online purchase if asked to register first. Another company Ctrlio, whose founder Laurence John also spoke to the publication, is seeking to show consumers why and how GDPR compliance can help brands to create more services that people want.

As the Facebook data abuse scandal has demonstrated, what has contributed to the widespread feelings of distrust in the platform is the gulf in consumer understanding of the social network’s business model compared to other, more traditional companies.

While GDPR will force companies to become more transparent with their consumers about the use of their data, it also makes that data more portable. At first, robust company data policies will become a competitive advantage before turning into more of a hygiene factor as the buzz around the regulation dies down.

The companies at risk from the regulation are those who process data but are not consumer facing. For some companies, such as Drawbridge, the US company that recently announced it was withdrawing from Europe, the task of gaining consent without first-party data was, it believed, insurmountable.

However, Bloomberg noted the emergence of data trusts as a counter-strategy. Earlier this month, credit card provider MasterCard and IT company IBM announced the formation of a data trust called Truata, which will allow both firms to manage, anonymise, and analyse the data for aggregate insights.

Truata’s chief executive, Felix Marx, told the Financial Times that the trust was the latest “evolution of the data economy”. In another inflection of the collaboration strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google intended for publishers to solicit people’s consent on its behalf without having to make significant changes to its ad tech model. 

Sourced from Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, WARC