Consumers are getting savvier about the value of their personal data to businesses and the majority are comfortable with sharing information despite recent furore over personal data privacy, according to latest research.
An online study of 2,023 mobile phone users in France, Poland, Spain and the UK conducted on behalf of Orange by consultancy Loudhouse found that 80 per cent of those surveyed know their personal data has a value, and nearly as many (78 per cent) agree that the value of that information increases inline with the brand's ideal customer demographic.
The research also highlights that most consumers (67 per cent) believe businesses benefit more from sharing personal user data than they do. Only 6 per cent believed the balance was in favour of the consumer.
While Orange's study suggests consumers are generally comfortable with businesses sharing their data, 77 per cent of respondents said it is critical that mobile operators tell them how their data is being used. The operator noted that figure ranks almost on par with quality of service and value for money in consumers' opinions.
"The research clearly demonstrates that consumers are acutely aware that the information a company holds about them has a value to that brand," said Daniel Gurrola, VP of Business Vision at Orange.
Orange found consumers typically assign a value of £140 (€180/$226) to their cumulative personal data when dealing with companies with which they are familiar. For unfamiliar companies, the value rises to around £200 in total. Broken down, the value of an individual piece of data to a trusted company is reckoned at £13, rising to £15 per item for unknown companies.
"As the perceived value that consumers place on their data can change, depending on the relationship they hold with the organisation, companies must consider not only how they convey what the customer gets in return for this data exchange, but precisely how the data is being used, and where in order to build that essential trust," Gurrola noted.
The Orange study also found consumers are cautious when it comes to sharing data relating to friends and family or personal income. Some 59 per cent said they would never share the email address of five personal contacts, and 39 per cent that they wouldn't reveal historic details of purchases made on their mobile phone.
- read Orange's press release
French watchdog rejects call to suspend Bouygues Telecom-SFR network deal
Orange offers €3.4B for Spain's Jazztel
Orange holds margins steady as price war diminishes
EU sets new regional data protection rules
Privacy campaigners launch legal challenge to UK communications laws