Personal data to be worth €1trillion

The value of European consumers’ personal data could grow to nearly a trillion euros (£810bn) annually by 2020, according to one of the first analytical attempts to put a value on information used by businesses.
Conducted by Boston Consulting Group, the study claims personal data could potentially be worth nearly 10% of European-wide GDP within eight years.
It cites the rise of Big Data, triggered by increasing use of smartphones and social media, which has led people to increasingly record their lives online, and businesses have been keen to exploit that information.
“Leveraging personal data and digital identity can be a key growth driver in an overall stagnant European economy,” said John Rose, senior partner at BCG and author of the report commissioned by Liberty Global, a cable company.
BCG’s study, which included surveying about 3,000 people across Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, said the current market was worth €315bn (£255bn). It derived the figure by aggregating the value generated by 20 of the most common uses of personal data, such as targeted marketing and loyalty programmes.
It also concluded that users were willing to give away their data in exchange for concrete returns and if the process was more transparent.
Liberty Global chief policy officer Manuel Kohnstamm said: “The opportunities presented by the responsible sharing of a person’s digital identity are enormous, but can only be gained if digital identity is handled in a safe and transparent way.
“It is critical that industry takes the lead to establish a trusted platform for the flow of personal data, otherwise, significant value for consumers and industry alike will be lost.”
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