According to a confidential presentation obtained by the German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, Handelsblatt’s sister publication, Telefonica is offering to sell customer information to retail chains and shopping centers. Documents intended for retail managers showed the company had mined specific “insights” about age, gender, origin and movement from its 44 million mobile customers.
Telefonica is the only German mobile operator selling customer data as a new branch of business. Deutsche Telekom canceled a pilot project on the analysis of customer data last year following privacy protests.
In Germany, public opinion is the greatest challenge to telecommunications companies looking to profit from big data. Citizens have long-standing concerns about spying, a legacy of the Nazi era and Cold War times.