Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, ProSiebenSat.1 and United Internet form a log-in alliance – Zalando is their first partner

Berlin/Karlsruhe/Cologne/Munich, 28. July 2017 – Three leading German media and internet companies have established a comprehensive registration and single sign-on service online in anticipation of the EU’s new data protection standards which will apply from May 2018. For this purpose, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, the RTL Deutschland GmbH media group, and United Internet AG have founded a log-in alliance in collaboration with WEB.DE and GMX. Zalando SE will be the first partner to make use of this log-in solution. According to the agreement signed by all partners, an open standard will be created and a foundation monitoring the standard’s compliance and development will be established. As an independent entity, the foundation will provide assistance with the implementation of EU data protection regulations and the planned ePrivacy regulation for online services.

The aim of the log-in alliance is to create a simple and secure solution that transparently organizes information about the user’s consent to use online services (opt-ins) in line with data protection regulations. The alliance is developing an open standard that will allow users, across a wide range of sectors, to access all the initiative’s online services using the same log-in data instead of having to repeatedly log in using different data for each individual offer online.

At the same time, users are able to effectively exercise data sovereignty: Each user has a standardized privacy center at their disposal. This is provided by their account provider and guarantees greater control and transparency when handling data. As a result, users can manage their profile data, change their password and issue or revoke their consent in one area only.

User data is shared between account providers and services only after the user has given their consent. At the user’s request, repeated manual data entries and lengthy registrations that may involve different passwords are no longer necessary. This minimizes the risk of forgetting log-in data in the case of services that are not regularly used. In addition, getting to know new online services is made easier as a result.

Once the service has been launched, the partners’ services will already be accessible using harmonized log-in data. This is set to take place in 2018. Users can do many things using their single sign-on account: For instance, they can watch TV NOW, a serviced offered by the RTL media group, or ProSieben’s livestream. In addition, they can also access e-mails on WEB.DE and GMX or shop on Zalando. With a combined reach of more than 45 million unique users per month (source: Working Group for Online Media Research/Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online-Forschung), the initiative’s three founding companies have achieved a level of significance that is critical for the project’s success.

The log-in alliance is explicitly open to other partners and initiatives. In addition, every online service may use the open single sign-on service if they wish to. Moreover, the alliance ensures that data is stored by the account provider in the EU. Regular auditing ensures the certification and monitoring of the standard.

Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE: “With our alliance, we are adding substantial value for the customer. At the same time, we are strengthening the German digital market by counterbalancing the monopolistic and unclear algorithms used by US players. The initiative has been deliberately designed as an open standard. Other companies are more than welcome to join us.”

Anke Schäferkordt, Managing Director of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH: “Our log-in-alliance offers users a simple registration and sign-on solution to make use of the services and offers provided by those involved. It ensures that our users are given transparency and complete control in handling their data. Any additional companies that join our initiative will increase customer advantages and strengthen the digital business in Germany at the same time.”

Ralph Dommermuth, CEO and founder of United Internet AG: “The log-in alliance focuses on open, platform-neutral standards combined with the EU’s strict data protection regulations that will apply from May 2018. Our common goal is to offer consumers a secure, European alternative in order to register with various online services. Our initiative is a key step towards more data sovereignty for users. At the same time, we are strengthening the competitiveness of the online business in Europe.”

Robert Gentz, founder and Co-CEO of Zalando SE: “For us, the customer always comes first. As the leading online fashion platform in Europe, this means that we also need to be a pioneer in the area of personalized services, which includes a secure and simple log-in solution and more transparent data management. Both of these are made possible thanks to the new alliance.”

An open standard for cross-sector cooperation has been created thanks to the log-in alliance. As a result, this approach distinguishes itself significantly from centralized proprietary ecosystems for user and usage data. The partners intend to implement this new log-in service and personal privacy center before the end of this year and offer this service to their customers as early as 2018. In addition, the alliance is open to the idea of creating joint standards with other initiatives as well.