Individual consumer data is information collected from and about consumers, which is used for a wide range of commercial activities. Data can be given directly and actively, for example, when registering for a service, or indirectly and passively, for example, through observed activity on social media or internet browsing history.
Due to this uncertain balance of the costs and benefits associated with the use of consumer data, Which? has looked into the implications for consumers, and commissioned Frontier Economics to undertake a review of the existing literature on this topic.
The slides and report in this section present our findings on the four areas that we considered were of most direct interest and relevance to consumers:
- competition in consumer data–intensive markets
- data brokers
- privacy behaviour/insights from behavioural economics and,
- regulation of smart meters and connected devices.
They also identify the key gaps and opportunities for further research/analysis to better understand the commercial use of individual consumer data.