Vodafone and Google have announced a strategic partnership and the launch of a global cloud-based data platform.
The aim of the platform is to create efficiencies and improve the customer experience, by utilising the vast pools of available customer data for analytics and also automating customer services and support functionality. This will allow Vodafone to focus on customer retention at a global level and deploy new services simultaneously in multiple countries.
Although the value of customer data on this scale is clear, there are concerns from privacy professionals and campaigners that sharing personal data with US tech giants such as Google is incompatible with EU and UK data protection laws. This is in light of the Schrems II judgment which called into question the adequacy of the data protection framework in the US, due to invasive US surveillance laws.
Vodafone has confirmed that all data generated will be stored and processed "as per local jurisdiction requirements and in accordance with local laws and regulations". Whilst also adding assurances around its rigorous security and privacy by design processes.
This significant technological development for the telecoms market is the latest reminder of the importance and urgency of resolving the US data flow issues that have arisen following the Schrems II judgment.
If the platform is a success, it would be a further boost for the public cloud computing market, which is projected to grow by 23.1% to $332.3bn (£239.3bn) in 2021, according to research firm Gartner.