Deutsche Telekom launches privacy bot competition: “Digitization can’t succeed without trust”

Many are concerned that data privacy is falling by the wayside in the rush to digitize. Deutsche Telekom has launched a competition to prove that “this does not have to be the case”.

Deutsche Telekom is looking for concepts for the technical implementation of a privacy bot, i.e., “a smart, digital data-privacy helper”. The winner of the competition will receive €10,000 and Deutsche Telekom plans to drive the concept to make it a reality.


Thomas Kremer, Board member for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom, says, “Digitization cannot succeed unless people trust it. Our aim with the competition is to promote solutions that enhance people’s digital autonomy.”

The goal is that the customer enters their desired data privacy standards once. The digital assistant then checks all the Internet services and adapts the data privacy settings accordingly or rejects the services. Data privacy settings include, for example, the use of data for other purposes, the period for data storage, and the disclosure of data to third parties. The bot saves the customer having to read through the data privacy settings of every service.

It’s well known that people often don’t read the privacy policies associated with digital products and services. They are typically long, complicated and not user-friendly. Research a few years ago suggested that reading all the privacy policies you encounter in a year would take 76 work days, and it’s unlikely the situation has improved much today. However, failing to read them could mean agreeing to your data being used in ways you don’t wish to consent to.

Digital duty

“Our intention with the competition is not to make processes easier for companies, but to enhance data privacy for consumers,” says Claus-Dieter Ulmer, Global Data Privacy Officer at Deutsche Telekom. “It is part of what we see as our digital duty.”

The competition runs until April 30, 2017. Find out more.

Digital ecosystems won’t scale without trust

Recognizing the importance of trust if digital services and the Internet of Everything are to scale, TM Forum members are working on a Trust Roadmap of Challenges (RoC) whitepaper, based on the original Internet of Everything Roadmap of Challenges, in which trust was identified as a major challenge.

At Action Week, Lisbon 2017 next month, the team will be reviewing the first draft of that document and hope to confirm and prioritize the key challenges of establishing and sustaining trust. Find out more here.


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Freelance Editor and Writer

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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