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June 28, 2013

Brits will allow access to personal data for clear benefits

Consumers will share personal information to get better service from their doctors, bank and retailers, an Infosys Study has discovered – however, they are very discerning about how they share.

By Duncan Macrae

Today’s digital consumers are complicated and sometimes sceptical about how institutions use their data, according to a global independent survey of consumers around the world.

Brits feel comfortable sharing data with doctors (91%), banks (74%) and retailers (69%); however, the research shows contrasting nuances. Consumers won’t readily share personal medical history with doctors.

They say they want targeted ads yet are wary of sharing the information to enable this. The study shows consumers understand the benefits of sharing data but remain cautious of data mining (especially in Europe): 39% globally describe data-mining as invasive while also saying it is helpful (35%), convenient (33%) and time saving (32%). Consumers in the United States are less concerned about the invasive issue (30%) than in the other countries surveyed, while German consumers are less willing to share personal data that in other countries.

The global research polled 5,000 digitally savvy consumers in five countries (including 1,000 each in of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) about how they trade private data in the retail, banking, and healthcare sectors. The study shows the key challenge facing business is to navigate the complex behaviours consumers display when sharing their personal information.

Stephen Pratt, managing partner, Worldwide Consulting and Systems Integration and executive council member at Infosys, said:"This study is a wake-up call to companies about the enormous untapped opportunity to gain greater access to data by clearly communicating ‘what’s in it for me’ to the customer.

"Our research shows that people will certainly share though they’re very savvy about how they give up their personal information. Companies need to crack the code in mining data effectively to gain consumer trust and clearly articulate the benefit to their customers."

Key UK findings:

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  • To know me is to sell to me. Three quarters of consumers worldwide believe retailers currently miss the mark in targeting them with ads on mobile apps, and 78% do not feel that online promotions or emails they receive resonate with their personal interests and needs.
  • To really know me is to sell me even more: British consumers overwhelming agree (78%) that they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if they provided offers targeted to their interests, wants or needs, and 68% feel similarly if offered incentives based on location.
  • Catch 22 for retailers? While in principle shoppers say they want to receive ads or promotions targeted to their interests, just 16 percent will share social media profile information. Lacking these details could make it difficult for retailers to deliver tailored digital offers.


  • Security = Loyalty: 86% of respondents expect their bank to mine personal data to protect against fraud. It is such an important issue that just over three quarters (77%) even would consider changing banks if a competitor offered assurances that their data and money would be safer.
  • Digital communication conundrum: There is a communications challenge for banks: 60% of consumers want banks to communicate with them about their account or transaction information via alerts to mobile or smart phone; however only 28% frequently share information on these devices.
  • Are banks reassuring customers enough? Despite these clear concerns about security more than a third of consumers (31%) still feel that their current bank or financial institution does not have a clear process for addressing fraudulent issues.

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