Telefónica NEXT and people.io join forces:

Launch of O2 GET app to allow consumers to control how their personal data is used

In a data-driven society, every individual should be able to decide what happens to their personal data. This is where O2 GET comes in: Users can decide for themselves which personal information they’d like to enter into their O2 GET account, and also which companies and brands within the app they want to interact with. They can track how this data is used transparently and be rewarded for inputting specific data within the app. Users can also delete their profile, including all data entered into the app, at any time. The O2 GET app is a joint product from European start-up, people.io and Telefónica NEXT. People.io is supported by Telefónica’s accelerator Wayra. As an internationally active company, Telefónica is helping to ensure that people can retain control over their data. This includes making sure that users know which companies are using their data and for what purposes – and allowing them to manage this themselves. This is also a key goal of people.io: This European start-up has developed an innovative app for the transparent handling of personal data, which has been adapted for the German market together with Telefónica NEXT. The result is the O2 GET app, which is now available to O2 customers and all interested users. At the Mobile World Congress in the beginning of this year, Telefónica S.A. introduced its so-called 4th Platform, which exists to demonstrate the new data-based services and offerings of the telecommunications company. The O2 GET app is one of the first products in the German market that is aligned with the 4th Platform’s values of Data Ownership and Transparency.

How the app works

After registering with the app, users initially answer questions about their interests (“Do you use Spotify?”), plans (“Are you think of buying a new car?”), or habits (“Do you regularly research travel plans online?”). Based on their personal interests and preferences, users are then given suggestions for suitable advertising partners and brands they might wish to interact with. These partners, however, do not obtain access to this data at any point. In order to make their profile more accurate, users can also connect data sources from other parts of their digital lives with the app, such as their e-mail account. Users are rewarded for all of this voluntary information and interaction with companies in the form of credits. They can then redeem these credits digitally, for example, for gift cards from selected partners or a charitable donation, meaning that they are directly rewarded for providing their data. Within the app, users also receive messages from partners that are tailored to their interests on the basis of their data.

Customers keep track of their data in O2 GET

Users retain control over the data that they enter into the app: They decide for themselves which questions they wish to answer from which companies and which data they wish to share with the app. They are able to keep constant track of how their data is being used and at any point, users can delete their profile, including all the data they’ve entered in the app, and their personal information canno longer be used. Data which is entered into the app is comprehensively protected. people.io manages the data securely, while users control its use. Data is not passed on to advertising partners, instead partners define a target group that they would like to reach. Based on the information shared by the user, people.io sends the relevant message in-app to this target group. people.io guarantees that the information will only be used as agreed to by the user and in accordance with German data privacy regulations.
John Craig
“We are helping to ensure that customers retain control over their data. The O2 GET app is part of this. It gives our customers new opportunities to handle their personal data as they choose while also benefiting from it. This is what we at Telefónica Deutschland mean by our motto ‘Deine Welt. Deine Wahl’," explains John Craig, Manager for Products, Campaigns & Marketing at Telefónica NEXT. “The transition of data from companies to individuals will be one of the most fundamental shifts in technology over the next 5 years. Our collaboration with Telefonica NEXT demonstrates a starting point for this transition, by giving us the opportunity to launch people.io at scale, in a country with some of the most advanced and consumer focused data privacy laws,” says people.io CEO and founder Nicholas Oliver.

Relevant content for relevant target groups

The concept of data ownership for users also has numerous benefits for advertising partners using O2 GET. Data is much more likely to be correct as it is consciously entered in the app by users themselves. Partners can also communicate with users precisely and without wastage. They receive feedback on demographics, interest groups and other parameters for their campaigns in an anonymised and aggregated form. These findings can also then be used by partners in other settings.

Data-based solutions of Telefónica NEXT, supported by Wayra

O2 GET is a joint product of people.io and Telefónica Germany NEXT GmbH. For this new company, Telefónica Deutschland is combining its strategic and data-driven growth areas: namely the Internet of Things and Advanced Data Analytics. O2 GET also serves as proof of the successful investment strategy of Telefónica’s start-up accelerator Wayra, which supports people.io with financial assistance and a mentoring programme. Thanks to this support, people.io, together with Telefónica NEXT, has succeeded in launching the O2 GET app into the German market within a short time.

About people.io

Founded by Nicholas Oliver in 2015, people.io is European start-up who are giving people ownership of their data, by facilitating the transition of data from companies to individuals, in order to create a ‘firewall for people’. Once realised, their vision is to give a person absolute control the access, use and value of their decentralised personal data. Recognised as the 2016 Nasdaq Rising Star and Marketing Week 100 Disruptive Brands, they are backed by some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Thomas Höegh (Arts Alliance) and Nick Robertson (ASOS) in addition to corporate backing from Founders Factory (Brent Hoberman & Henry Lane-Fox) and Wayra Deutschland (Telefonica Open Future).