Almost three quarters of consumers attach a financial value to their personal data, new research reveals

PIE report coverA survey of 3,000 UK-based consumers has revealed that 73% attach a financial value to the personal data they share online, which they believe businesses and organisations must recognise if they wish to use it.

The study was commissioned by Callcredit Information Group ahead of CtrlShift 2016, the personal information economy conference taking place in London on 29 September, to gain a deeper understanding of consumer attitudes towards, and expectations of, data sharing.

The findings paint a picture of a discerning consumer who, in addition to understanding the financial value of their personal data, understands that sharing personal information saves time (47%) by enabling them to have the same conversation with a brand on-line, on the phone and in-store, as well as receiving more personalised offers (39%).

Other key findings include:

• New cohort of consumers identified who are set to accelerate the Me2B economy
The research reveals there is a distinct group of younger consumers emerging, who account for 22% of those surveyed, that is keen to drive the personal information economy. With the majority aged 34 and under, they are happy to share their data and embrace the opportunities that this exchange presents. A significant 83% of this cohort recognise that their digital identity has a value to brands. Almost two thirds (63%) see sharing personal data as an opportunity to have a more personalised experience rather than as a risk to the security of their personal identity.  

• Most of us have a digital identity, but it’s an abstract concept to the average consumer
Despite the fact most of us have a digital identity, only 38% of consumers are familiar with the phrase ‘digital identity’ which is defined as the online identity that includes all the personal information and data which can be attributed to an individual online. Furthermore, 50% doubt that their online searches contribute to their digital identity. Overall, one in six people don’t currently understand the benefits in sharing their personal information.

• Addressing the ‘What’s in it for me?’
55% of consumers would share more information about themselves with organisations and businesses if they had a better understanding of how it would benefit them.

Mark Davison, Chief Data Officer, Callcredit Information Group, commented: “There’s no denying that the digital revolution has triggered an opportunity for brands to get to know their customers better than ever before. Every click is a reflection of a consumer’s identity, behaviours, passions and thought processes. In return for this insight, consumers benefit from a higher quality of products and services, tailored to their individual needs and delivered with an increasingly effortless customer experience. On occasions, they need reminding of this.”

Davison concluded: “Our research suggests that we’ll begin to see a paradigm shift as people take control of and monetise their own data. But we must unlock the benefits of the personal information economy in a way that creates a balance between protecting consumers’ privacy and digital identity with the ability to innovate and enhance people’s lives. This is clearly in an embryonic stage, so early movers will have a huge educational challenge, but the scale of the marketplace and the Me2B economy should not be understated.”

The research forms part of an in–depth report into the future of the personal information economy.

Download the report.

Research Methodology

Unlocking the potential of personal data is the first research project commissioned by Callcredit Information Group, working with London-based research agency, Loudhouse. 3,000 UK consumers completed an online survey about sharing personal information in July 2016.