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Consumers and their data: research review

Consumer data is helping to shape our lives. Increasingly, technology has become a part of our daily interactions with business and organisations. Within this context it is important to understand consumer use of technology, their knowledge of data collection and use, their attitudes towards it and their behaviour. This report is a rapid review of recent consumer research into this.

Our rapid review of recent consumer research looks at consumer’s motivations, concerns and knowledge towards data collection and sharing as well as concepts such as trust, control and transparency.

It found that, for many consumers, sharing data has become normalised and they are prepared to share their data in return for direct benefits to them, a societal benefit or if it is required for the product or service to function. However, most consumers have only a limited understanding of how data is collected, and can only guess about how their data is used.

It also identified three areas of notable concern for consumers; 1) security- the risks of identity theft and exposure of financial details, 2) privacy, and 3) third party sharing, with consumers wanting control over their data and saying it should only be collected if they gain something from it.

Following this review Which? commissioned its own primary research to further investigate consumers’ attitudes and behaviour towards data collection and use in more detail. The resulting report “Ctrl, Alt or Delete? Consumer research on attitudes to data collection and use” has been published alongside this review.

Consumers and their data: Research review 267 Kb | 04 Jun 2018