Consumers value their personal information at up to €240 as they become more aware of its worth, but need more education on the type of data that is collected by companies, new research from Orange has revealed. 

The operator found that when sharing data with a new or unfamiliar organisation, consumers value their data at €240. This falls to €170 for companies consumers trust or have ongoing relationships with.

Consumers attributed a value of around €15 for an individual piece of data they were willing to share with a brand they knew, rising to €19 when dealing with a new company.

‘Family and friends’ emails’ and ‘personal income’ were regarded as the most valuable pieces of personal data, with respondent’s pricing such information at approximately €15.

However, 59 percent of respondents claimed they would “never” share the email addresses of five personal contacts. Just 39 percent said they would not disclose their purchase history on a smartphone, and just 35 percent said they would not share their full name or date of birth.

Orange’s Future of Digital Trust study, conducted by Loudhouse, surveyed 2,023 mobile phone users in the France, Poland, Spain and the UK.

Daniel Gurrola, Vice President, Business Vision at Orange, said: “These results show that while consumers attach a value to their data, this value is potentially at odds with the risk of sharing it, highlighting the need for more clarity and education. 

“As the perceived value that consumers place on their data can change, depending on the relationship they hold with the organisation, companies must consider not only how they convey what the customer gets in return for this data exchange, but precisely how the data is being used, and where in order to build that essential trust.”

Additional findings revealed that 80 percent of respondents acknowledged that their personal data was valuable to companies, with 77 percent of consumers saying that it was “very important” or “critical”  for mobile operators to inform them on how their data is being used.

Declan Lonergan, Vice President at 451 Research, commented: “It’s apparent from this research that consumers’ attitude to sharing their personal data is developing rapidly as they become increasingly familiar with the concept.

“Establishing and maintaining the necessary consumer trust to enable organisations to reap the benefits of transferring, storing and analysing this data will become a critical new battleground for all digital players in the coming years.”

The latest findings build on a previous study by Orange in February, which found a decline in trust in operators and device manufacturers over the handling of personal data.

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