Aiming to Cash In on Data, European Firms Grapple With Privacy Laws



Catherine Stupp | WSJ

Companies in Europe want to share the personal data of consumers with other firms or turn it into business applications without violating privacy rules, but there is no consensus on how to avoid revealing such potentially sensitive information.

Privacy restrictions in the European Union’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation initially caused companies to reconsider whether they could cash in on personal data collected on consumers. Now, some companies are finding ways to avoid revealing that data, including consumers’ identities.

Austrian telecoms carrier A1 Telekom Austria, for example, spent two years developing a method to maintain the anonymity of its customers, and last month joined a data marketplace run by vehicle-technology firm HERE Global B.V. The company only shares aggregated location data on groups of 20 people or more with other companies buying through the marketplace, reducing the risk it could identify any individuals.

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