There’s no shortage of studies that measure how much people hate being tracked online or the importance of good privacy practices to customer trust. Usually this kind of research is designed to drive a regulatory agenda or sales of some kind of privacy service. So it’s refreshing and useful to see new research from Price Waterhouse Coopers about attitudes toward the personal-data value-exchange that happens between marketers and their customers.
We know people generally don’t like their data to be used or shared in unexpected ways; the more interesting question is what does it take, in terms of value delivered, for people to give it up voluntarily and explicitly?
One of the interesting highlights is this pyramid of concern about different kinds of personal data:
The study also asked users about real-world exchanges — would you trade your personal data address for free popcorn at a movie? — and found most people are up for the trade. Obviously, these kind of exchanges already happen all the time, although usually the trade is implicit. Watch for them to become more explicit as the consumer-choice framework becomes more standardized through initiatives like Do Not Track.