Broadcasters RTL Group and ProSieben.Sat1 have joined forces with German teleco company United Internet to launch the European netID Foundation.
The new body will create an industry standard for Europe to help protect personal data from being exploited by online firms including social media companies.
Officially, the Foundation has been created ahead of May's introduction of GDPR, but it also coincides with the current data protection issues around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
The body plans to establish a secure open source log in system, called a 'netID' for European users. Any website operating in Europe will be able to use the system which, the companies say, will give users complete control over their personal data. The information provided by members of the public will not be shared between account providers and internet services until after the user has given their consent. Users will also be able to see what information is being shared with what companies and can revoke access at any time.
“Data protection is an international issue, so the European netID Foundation is introducing a standard that extends throughout Europe and across multiple industries,” said Marcus Dimpfel from RTL.