Swiss real-time data experts, Streamr, has partnered with GSMA, the industry body for mobile telecom communications, to allow three mobile network operators (MNOs) to monetize their user data ethically.
GSMA and Streamr will work together to deliver a technological accelerator programme to selected MNOs. The initiative aims to fast-track potential adoption of new technologies that permit users to share and monetize data from their mobile devices in partnership with operators.
MNOs have tried for over a decade to find a way to monetize the data their network users generate. This has proven to be difficult, particularly in light of the widespread reforms and improvements to international data protection, and information security legislation, in the 2010s.
The pilot is designed to allow telcos to realize this long-held ambition in a fully compliant manner. End-users will be asked outright if they want to join the Data Union to ‘sell’ their data on Streamr’s marketplace, or opt out, using a smartphone app. Also, no data will actually be traded as part of the study.
“Given regulatory changes, and rapidly changing consumer attitudes to both privacy and the value of their data, the only sustainable way for MNOs to monetize mobile data, is by gaining overt consent from their users.
“We also know that the consumer insights industry is desperately underserved when it comes to data from mobiles. We are confident that Streamr’s revolutionary Data Union framework allows them to capture and record this consent dynamically and securely,” said Shiv Malik, Head of Growth at Streamr.
Streamr co-founder Henri Pihkala added, “It’s very exciting to consider the potential for this pilot. MNOs are ideally positioned to unlock the rich customer insights that their subscribers create on their devices each day. Privacy focused data monetization that works with those users, presents a significant new income stream, as the industry faces multiple pressures on existing revenues”.
The pilot will also include a significant research element, gathering user experiences around having the ability to control how, and with whom, their data is shared – as well as how they feel about receiving a share of its value in the future. Learnings will also inform network user retention strategies.
Streamr’s Data Union approach gives people the ability to crowdsell their data, and actively choose who can buy it. It also breaks down long-term data silos to help entrepreneurs, startups, researchers and SMEs by accessing data sets previously off-limits. Data Unions decentralize control over individuals’ data away from a handful of major corporations, serving as a means to crowdsource and share information.
Immediate use cases for the pilot’s data include consumer footfall and mobility intelligence for brands, retail operators and commercial landlords, as well as in events management and city planning applications.