How much is your data worth?

People are giving out personal information very freely these days and it’s usually in respect of getting something back.  Think of it this way – how many loyalty cards do you carry?  Your store cards do you think you have them because you shop their often and this is an extension to their brand?  Do you have them because having a Harrods card is an aspirational thing and they value you personally that much?

Well this is only half the truth and probably only half of half the truth.

Companies want your data because it’s worth a helluva lot more than giving you 5% discount on your next purchase or a free packet of toilet rolls.  When you walk into a supermarket or a department store do you think they aren’t tracking your every move and tieing that information back to your store card?  Do you think thank banks aren’t looking at your direct debit and standing orders to see who you have other financial products with?

Think again.

The Wall Street Journal has written a piece recently entitled “Verizon wants to build an advertising juggernaut.  It Needs your data first”.  So this is going to be targeted advertising which is going to earn them billions, if it takes off, and they are going to give “concert tickets and other rewards” for benefitting from your data.

Now excuse me for being dumb -for there are smarter people in the world.  But does this make sense?  Seemingly irrelevant information that you have – name, age, date of birth, purchasing patterns etc which you technically should own is going to make some firm, some individual a mint?

Surely that is worth something more than a discounted Lady Gaga ticket?

Now data analysts reading this will say “what are you talking about?  This is intelligence that we need in order to improve the products and the customer experience.”

“Yes is the answer, but let’s be open and honest and reward our customers justly!  Let’s not assume that they are all idiots!”

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