Mobile data sale ‘concerns’ users

mobile-phone-user NEWFewer than half of all mobile phone users are happy with network operators flogging the data they gather on them, including age, gender, location and app usage – even if it has been anonymised – according to a new study.
The survey, conducted by TNS Omnibus for analytics vendor Guavus, over 2,500 UK smartphone users found that only 46% would be willing for their operator to sell anonymised usage data.
The move, which is a blow for an industry that sees customer’s mobile usage data as a valuable commodity, follows a Sunday Times report that mobile operator EE and market research Ipsos MORI had struck such a deal.
Whether the respondents who oppose data sharing are aware of the reported shortcomings of anonymisation technology, or if they are just uneasy with the concept, the issue raises further questions about the validity of selling the data.
Gauvus senior vice-president Louis Brun said “Customer consent is key and there needs to be transparency over how the data will be used and in what context. Clearly this is, and will continue to be, a divisive and controversial issue.
However he did put a positive spin on the findings, adding that it was “very encouraging to see there is a large group of people out there who are willing to give consent”.
“With the explosion of mobile data across networks, operators are now uniquely positioned to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and demographics; a valuable resource in today’s data hungry world,” he said.

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