29 Sep What’s your personal information worth?
All over the web people are searching for your personal information to gain insight into what you read, what you like, what you might buy and even whom you might date. Many of the economic opportunities served up to you everyday are linked directly to the online data that can be found about you.
So if this personal information is so valuable to companies, charities, governments and friends it makes sense that it’s probably also valuable to you. This is exactly what many people are starting to realise.
A recent survey of 3,000 consumers in the United Kingdom (UK) by credit agency Call Credit found that 73 percent of people attach a financial value to the data they share online. And they think it’s about time businesses started to recognise this value if they want to use it.
But consumers are unsure what all this information means. The survey found that only around one-third of consumers were familiar with the concept of digital identity, even though we all have one. A ‘digital identity’ is the online identity that includes all the personal information and data that can be attributed to an individual online. We call it your online reputation.
Unsurprisingly, younger people are more comfortable sharing personal information and recognise the benefits that can come from this. Over 80 percent of people aged under thirty-four recognise that their digital identity has a value to brands. Almost two thirds (63 percent) see sharing personal data as an opportunity to have a more personalised experience rather than as a risk to the security of their personal identity.
But companies have a lot more work to do when it comes to people aged thirty-five and over. The survey found that 55 percent of consumers would share more information about themselves with organisations and businesses if they had a better understanding of how it would benefit them. In essence, if this information is so valuable to so many organisations then they had better start explaining that value to consumers if they want them to share more information online.
So how do you know the value of your personal information? Well, you can start by getting your online reputation score, which will help you understand how businesses and other people view you today.
Then you can think about how your information can be used to get you better deals and experiences, such as a lower interest rate or even a better restaurant reservation. And if you are unhappy with your online reputation you can take some simple steps right away to start fixing and improve it over time.
Personal information is fuelling the digital economy and the key to getting the best results is knowing where you stand and valuing your personal information.