‘Paltry’ prices for personal data

The predicted stampede of consumers rushing to sell their personal data to marketers may never materialise after it was revealed the public can expect “paltry” sums, unless they are already wealthy.
According to a report in The Sunday Times, one broker claimed the starting rates are just 12p for a name and address, 50p for an email and £1 for a mobile number, although high net value consumers can expect to be offered more.
It quoted one person – marketing executive Charlotte Tracy – who had received just £13 after selling her data to mobile, travel and beauty firms.
Many commentators believe there is a big future for companies such as Allow, which specialises in handing control of personal data back to consumers.
Set up by former Capital One marketing chief Justin Basini, Allow offers to remove customers from marketing databases and register them with opt-out services such as the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and Email Preference Service. It will then sell a customer’s data back to companies once they have chosen which brands they want to receive mail from. Profit will be split between the customer and Allow.
Basini is quoted as saying: “If you are aged 35, earning £50,000 a year or more and interested in buying a plasma television, a £2,000 holiday or perhaps a credit card, you could earn up to £300 a year.”
But one data industry insider says most consumers will struggle to get a decent return for their data and these schemes will only benefit those consumers with high disposable incomes or those looking to buy high-ticket items. The source said: “This is hardly get rich quick territory. The sums on offer at the moment are pretty paltry, unless you are in the market for luxury goods or a sports car. For the average consumer, there won’t be a lot of cash on the table.”

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