Facebook recently announced that it would be paying consumers to track their online behaviour. The new app, known as Study, will be available from Google’s Play store and consumers that are willing to give up their privacy can download it enabling the social media giant to monitor how they interact with their competitors. So far it hasn’t been announced how much consumers will receive in return for this information. However, in a previous iteration Facebook paid consumers $20 per month for similar access to their online behaviour.
From a data perspective what is interesting about this new app is the precedence that it could set. If it proves popular will consumers, will they start demanding payment for their personal information? Ten years ago a study was conducted investigating the price tag consumers placed on their personal information. Home address data was found to be the most valuable with name and email address the least valuable. The study also found that if consumers could monetise their information in return for payment or a better customer experience, over 60 per cent would be happy to sell out their privacy. Fast forward a decade, it will be interesting to see how the reality of cash for data manifests itself. If it becomes the norm the onus on preference centres will become far greater. Rather than just being a place where customers can control their marketing preferences they could potentially become a marketplace for consumers to sell their data in exchange for discounts, preferential treatment or currency. Of course this is not going to happen overnight, but organisations that haven’t already implemented a preference centre should consider it more seriously moving forwards.
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