Special interest group founded on privacy of retail customers

From left to right: Antti Lappeteläinen, Innorange; Roel Schiphorst, BlueMark; Tuomas Wuoti, Walkbase; Christian Wallin, 42reports; Prof. Christoph Bauer (keynote speaker)

The launch of the PrivacySIG, a special interest group to promote consumer privacy, took place on Monday 2 June in the London Co-location Centre. PrivacySIG will publish and enforce a strict code-of-conduct among its members. The code-of-conduct transparently regulates how to implement the privacy as specified by the law and beyond. The SIG will be open for others to join.

The interest group is set up by five SMEs from Finland, Germany and The Netherlands operating in the customer measurement and intelligence field. Two of the companies, Innorange and Bluemark, belong to the Business Development Accelerator programme at EIT ICT Labs. The other companies are 42reports, sensalytics and Walkbase. "Our businesses are built on technological innovation but we are not limited to that. I find the establishment of PrivacySIG is a very positive step to show that we take innovation in privacy as serious as we take innovation in technology." says Christian Wallin, CEO of 42reports.

Setting the European wide foundation for privacy

Concurrently with the progress on EU data protection reform the actions performed by PrivacySIG give a solid European wide foundation on how new technologies can be taken into use without compromising the privacy. "It’s great to see the industry taking an active role in supporting and enforcing privacy law especially for retailers and real estate owners, where digital analytics of visitors shows a very dynamic development" states Prof. Dr. Christoph Bauer from ePrivacyconsult who gave the first keynote speech in the launch ceremony.

"I am delighted to see young European companies actively dedicated to privacy and sourcing the latest technologies in this area for the processing of information in a way such that respects the consumers’ privacy and yet producing the highest possible value for their businesses and customers," states Research Fellow, Dr. Ian Oliver from the University of Brighton and Privacy Architect for HERE, who addressed the latest developments in privacy technologies at the founding ceremony.

Strong signal to consumers that privacy matters

Business intelligence received by measuring customers and their movements help the retailers, real estate owners and public authorities to offer more targeted services, lower prices, better shopping experiences and smarter cities with less traffic jams.

The information collected is anonymous and can under no circumstances be linked to a person. "When new technologies are launched, there is always a lot unknown for the consumers. The founding of the SIG gives a strong signal to consumers that we take privacy seriously," adds dr. ir. Roel Schiphorst, CTO of BlueMark Innovations BV. "To us privacy has always been one of the the most important drivers of our product development. It is gratifying to see our peers in this industry working together to make the rules and guidelines clearer for customers and for the general public", adds Tuomas Wuoti, CEO of Walkbase.

The companies want to thank EIT ICT labs for facilitating the founding of the SIG. "The value of the contribution by EIT ICT labs is clearly more than its nominal value, as it also provided the trusted platform for the competitors to meet and perform the ramp-up tasks" said Antti Lappeteläinen, CTO of Innorange. "We at EIT ICT labs want to support new innovative companies to create new business. The launch of PrivacySIG is a concrete example how we bring companies together.", continued Petri Liuha, Action Line Lead for Smart Spaces at EIT ICT labs.

About the founding companies

42reports GmbH is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and has been initiated in 2012. The company provides a retail intelligence platform to its clients from all segments of traditional retail, which is used by both headquarters and store management to drive customer insights and measure the effectiveness of changes in Marketing, Product Offering and Personnel Planning. Customers range from coffee shops to shopping malls across Europe. Visit website

BlueMark Innovations is a privately owned company located in Enschede, the Netherlands with global operations in Europe, US and Russia. The company is founded in 2009 and offers technology to sense short-range radio technologies such as WLAN or Bluetooth. The primary markets are retail analytics to give retailers insight in customer behavior and event analytics where real-time information is provided during events. Visit website

Innorange Oy (Helsinki, Finland) offers visitor intelligence services for retail based on unique 3D sensor and smartphone detection technology assets. We help our customers optimise their store and staff performance by capturing, analysing and predicting customer movements and behaviour. Innorange’s customers include restaurants, retail brands, fashion and apparel retailers, operators and event organisers. Visit website

sensalytics is product of tectuality GmbH; a German company founded in 2012 and is located in Stuttgart and Munich. sensalytics offers various sensors for people counting, revenue tracking, proximity, WIFI and Loyalty sensors. All sensors can be combined and are not mutually dependent and can be subscribed on a monthly base. The primary target group are retailers. Business Intelligence Web and Mobile Applications allow customers to analyse their data in real-time. Visit website

Walkbase is a Helsinki based in-store analytics company founded in 2009 with offices in Finland, the UK and the US. Walkbase helps retailers increase sales and optimise the performance of their marketing & operations by measuring foot traffic, window conversion, visit duration, and customer loyalty. Our location analytics solution offers best-in-class accuracy and can be deployed at scale. Walkbase customers include leading specialty retail brands, fashion and apparel retailers, casinos, and airports across Europe. Walkbase only provides aggregated, anonymous data. Visit website

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