Deutsche Telekom launches competition for privacy bots

  • Consumers should have the freedom to choose the level of data privacy they desire
  • Wanted: concepts for the technical implementation of a privacy bot
  • The application should demonstrate that digitization can enhance data privacy
Symbolbild Künstliche Intelligenz

Is data privacy falling by the wayside in the rush to digitize? Deutsche Telekom is launching a competition to prove that this does not have to be the case. The competition starts tomorrow, on the European Data Protection Day. Deutsche Telekom is looking for concepts for the technical implementation of a privacy bot, i.e., a smart, digital data-privacy helper, and the winner of the competition will receive 10,000 euros. Deutsche Telekom also plans to shepherd the concept into practice.

“Digitization cannot succeed unless people trust it. Our aim with the competition is to promote solutions that enhance people’s digital autonomy,” says Thomas Kremer, Board member for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom. 

The purpose of the privacy bot is to scan the data privacy provisions of Internet services and compare them with the user’s predefined requirements. This is intended to make it easier for consumers to make use of existing data privacy options. The bot will not be restricted to individual providers such as Facebook, Amazon or travel portals, but it must be possible to use it for all web services. Bots are virtual assistants that companies are currently developing for customer service applications, for instance. “Our intention with the competition, however, is not to make processes easier for companies, but to enhance data privacy for consumers,” emphasizes Claus-Dieter Ulmer, Global Data Privacy Officer at Deutsche Telekom. “It is part of what we see as our digital duty.”

The goal is this: The customer uses the bot to enter his or her desired data privacy standards just once. The digital assistant then checks all the Internet services and adapts the data privacy settings accordingly or rejects the services. Data privacy settings include, for example, the use of data for other purposes, the period for data storage, and the disclosure of data to third parties. The bot saves the customer having to read through the data privacy settings of every service.

The competition runs until April 30, 2017. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges comprising data privacy and innovation experts from Deutsche Telekom and members of the Company’s Data Privacy Advisory Council. The competition is open to everyone. Concepts may be submitted in either English or German to The runner-up will receive 2,500 euros, and the second runner-up 1,000 euros. The rights for the concepts will remain with the developers.    

About Deutsche Telekom:

Fact sheet and conditions of participation

This sheet contains all of the important questions and answers in relation to Deutsche Telekom's data privacy competition.