LIVE FROM MOBILE 360-EUROPE, BRUSSELS: Operators must work with internet players to ensure that the privacy of users is adequately protected in the future, according to the CEOs of Telecom Italia and Belgacom.

Speaking in a panel session, TI CEO Marco Patuano (pictured, left) said: “What we need to understand is how to work together with over the tops (OTTs).”

He said the two parties must consider how relevant quality of service, security and proximity are when looking at the privacy controls for individual products.

While Facebook users aren’t too concerned about privacy, due to the free and open nature of the social network, privacy is critical when it comes to online banking as quality of service, security and proximity are essential.

Dominique Leroy (pictured, right), CEO of Belgacom, agreed that partnering with OTT players is a requirement, but was clear about where responsibility lies.

”I think it’s not our mission to make sure Netflix is secure. What we need to make sure is if people put their details in a cloud service that we provide, we have the necessary security environment,” she said.

Both company chiefs said that making customers aware of issues around privacy is an important area.

Patuano suggested that bigger brands have more responsibility: “The stronger your
brand, the higher your obligation. It’s not corporate responsibility, it’s business,” he

Leroy added that it is worth investing in staff awareness, as well as customers, as it ensures there is no weak link within the company that could be exploited.

Both also touched on regulation, saying that many OTT players are based outside of Europe and are therefore subject to different regulations when it comes to privacy.

Patuano said that in Europe privacy is seen as a human right, while in the US it is
regarded a commercial right: “It’s like playing football with feet in Europe and with
hands in the US,” he noted.

However, Leroy said she believed that the world will move towards a more global
approach to these issues: “I think in the end, it will go into a global world”.