The group that includes insurance company Allianz, media group Axel Springer (who, among other, issues Germany’s most popular tabloid “Bild Zeitung”), Deutsche Bank and Postbank as well as technology think tank Core. Through Here, also parent companies BMW and Audi are participating indirectly in the project. Also involved at the scientific level are the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) as well as the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT). With their initiative, the companies plan to establish a data platform as counterbalance to the dominance of (mostly US-based) data heavyweights like Amazon, Google, or Twitter, observers say.
The idea of the group is establishing a joint data platform that can be accessed through a single holistic authentication. Through the authentication process, a master key will be provided that enables users to identify themselves across all participating industries and companies. Today, online platforms frequently offer authentication and access through user accounts from Google, Facebook, Twitter and the like. In Europe, this dominance frequently has been criticized. The initiative at hand is the hitherto most ambitious attempt to establish a European alternative. The platform is intended to provide users with more comfort and security, as well as to ensure the highest standards of data security and data protection. It will already take into account both the recently reformed EU data protection law as well as the eIDAS regulation regarding the trustworthiness of the online identification function. As a further (and future) option, the platform could enable the development of digital payment and financial services.
The initiative is subject to approval to antitrust authorities at national and European level.