Stephen Shurrock, Telefónica Digital’s CCO, has sought to allay fears about how anonymous the data it is selling to retailers - as part of its new Big Data initiative - will be.
Shurrock told European Communications that there was “absolutely no way” that the data could be traced back to individuals thanks to the “engine” that “anonymises” and aggregates it.
Trials are currently ongoing and the CCO said he expects to announce its first customer before the end of 2012.
Customers will not be given the opportunity to opt in or opt out.
Said Shurrock: “That is just not part of the equation.”
The service is being launched in response to demands from retailers who want to know what’s happening both inside and outside their stores.
TD, alongside its market research partner GfK, will provide data “trends” allowing retailers to track flows of people to within a couple of hundred square metres and delve into demographic information, such as the sex and age of individuals.
However, Shurrock said the technology to pinpoint “exactly how many people are standing outside Next” would be possible down the line.
The data will not be “realtime” in the truest sense of the word – TD will initially provide data that is 24 hours old, but again Shurrock said the goal was to provde “hourly” information to retailers in the future.
TD has a team of around 50 people working on the initiative, but Shurrock was keen to point out that is just the beginning.
He said he hopes there are “a whole raft of opportunities” moving forward as TD looks to reach its target of €5 billion in revenues.