Data nation 2013

Balancing growth and responsibility

One of the big opportunities of using data is in predicting behaviour, not just needs. Businesses are getting better at recognising which customers need which products and services.

The survey considers Great Britain's attitudes to data collection and use by private and public sector organisations. Our research reveals that people are not confident in the way that companies collect, use, handle and share data, and more should be done to educate internet users on what's happening with their data and why.

Key findings

Individuals have never been more in need of privacy, especially 'digital natives' who have grown up in an online world. More than a quarter (27%) of 15 to 34-year-olds are not aware that companies collect data about them and their activities despite these people generating sizeable digital footprints.

Businesses are most likely to get maximum benefit from data if every customer interaction is based on the principles of transparency, trust and informed dialogue. People who are confident that companies tell them what data is collected and how it is used are between two and three times more likely also to be confident that companies handle, share and use their data to deliver personal benefits.

Regulators can create a better balance for individuals and businesses by adopting a more pragmatic, risk-based approach to privacy while implementing appropriate enforcement. One year on after the implementation of the amended Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, over half of Internet users (57%) say they usually ignore notices about cookies or have not even seen them.

Data nation 2013
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