Trust is a must in the data-driven economy | DMA

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Trust is a must in the data-driven economy

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‘Consumers don’t understand the data industry’ is a common refrain. While people do not necessarily have a nuanced understanding of the data industry, with increased media coverage and a growing data economy consumers are becoming more aware.

However, the picture is complicated as the DMA privacy research reveals. Since 2012 an increasing number of UK consumers are unconcerned about how their data is used. Conversely, far fewer people were ideologically opposed to sharing their data in 2015 compared to 2012, down from 31% to 24% of the total.

The majority (54%) of people share their data dependent upon the potential benefits for them. This group of ‘data pragmatists’ do care about how their data is used and stored, and they’re the group businesses will deal with the most.

Businesses that mark themselves out from the rest and show clearly to their customer the value exchange when using their personal data will thrive. Apple CEO, Tim Cook said, “We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy…we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make trade-offs between privacy and security”.

If businesses are open and honest about how they use data then consumers are willing to share their data. No market can succeed long-term if consumers do not have a notion of a fair value exchange.

This all boils down to trust, which goes back to the DMA’s privacy research. This found that trust in brands was the key differentiator. An organisation or brand can only bring about trust through transparency - explaining to their customers how and why they use consumer data.

The future success of companies will rely on trust. No longer will businesses operate on the basis that consumers do not understand the issues at hand. This is neither ethical nor viable as a business strategy in an economy that increasingly relies on the commercial use of consumer data.

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