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Control, Alt or Delete? Consumer research on attitudes to data collection and use

Data dependent technology has become fully integrated in society and has a transformative effect on people’s lives. However, whilst technology is at the forefront of people’s minds, consumer data is not. We have undertaken a comprehensive programme of qualitative and quantitative research to explore consumers’ knowledge and attitudes towards data collection and use by commercial organisations.

We have conducted a robust programme of research to understand what people know of data collection and use, how they feel about it, how they behave, and how all of this differs depending on the type of consumer. These insights offer policy makers an opportunity to engage with how people may react to policy proposals.

Our research consisted of:

  • A segmentation of the population by their attitudes towards data collection and use and their digital behaviour, developed from a nationally representative phone survey
  • Deliberative workshop
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews with vulnerable consumers.

Importantly, we have also explored why consumers are thinking, feeling and behaving in this way. We found that a combination of an invisible ecosystem, people’s cognitive limitations in conceptualising potential detriment and a lack of alternatives create an environment where people are primed to ‘accept’ their data being collected and used.

Having an intelligent and robust understanding of consumers is fundamental to developing successful policy. By adding our insights into the collective evidence base, we hope that it helps policy makers to develop impactful recommendations and facilitate positive change.

Consumer research on attitudes to Data 1732 Kb | 04 Jun 2018