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The MRS Delphi Group, a think tank set up by the Market Research Society (MRS), has today launched a new report on consumer privacy – ‘Private Lives? Putting the consumer at the heart of the debate’.

 

It has been produced by the most respected thinkers in the research and marketing sector including: Edwina Dunn, co-founder of dunnhumby and CEO of Starcount; Colin Strong, UK-based consumer researcher and author of ‘Humanizing Big Data’; and Jane Frost CBE, MRS’ Chief Executive and founder of the MRS Delphi Group.

 

The report puts consumers at the heart of the privacy debate, highlighting that up until now privacy has largely been treated as a political football which has focused too much on the legal and technological aspects of holding personal data. It shows that only one in ten of us feel in complete control over our personal information being kept private.

 

It also reveals that the UK Government is only marginally more trusted than the supermarkets when it comes to looking after personal information and that banks are more trusted than charities. In a demographically representative poll conducted by YouGov for the MRS Delphi Group, the net trust score for a bank is found to be 17, compared to a charity of 4, while government scores minus 28 against supermarkets of minus 31.

 

The same poll identifies a trend of growing consumer unease about how personal information is collected and stored. 70 percent of people surveyed said that privacy of personal information is more important now than it was five to ten years ago.

 

When it comes to the value exchange (quid-pro-quo) that takes place between consumers and organisations for personal information, the majority of consumers do recognise this exchange exists, 64% of consumers think that companies get more or all of the benefit from the information we share with them, and 60% think the same of government held data. The research also highlights that the older people get, the more likely they are to think that organisations rather than individuals benefit most – a lesson to business and government alike..

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