An alliance of European telcos Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone want to launch a new ad tech joint venture in a bid to challenge the dominance of Big Tech such as Google and Facebook.
The proposal was made public in a filing made with the European Commission on January 6th. According to the filing, the four would have both “joint control over and equal shares in the JV”.
They want to offer “a privacy-led, digital identification solution to support the digital marketing and advertising activities of brands and publishers,” using “first party” data ad-targeting infrastructure.
Last year, the telcos ran a limited trial in Germany dubbed TrustPid that included advertisers and publishers, including Axel Springer’s website Bild.de and RTL. During the process, run by Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, the two were in close contact with Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI).
TrustPid works by producing pseudonymous tokens for each individual website. This removes the possibility of building an extensive user profile, as with cookies. However, the different tokens combine through ‘secure matching’ to prevent the same advertising from being shown to a user on multiple occasions.
The Commission now has until February 10th to decide whether to let the telcos go ahead with a commercial launch.