What if Facebook, Google, Amazon etc all started paying you for the personal data you create whilst browsing their sites? Well, this may be a reality sooner than you think.

With many organisations making millions from selling targeted advertising using user generated profiles and given that Forrester say that more than $2 billion is spent each year on ‘third party data about individuals’ is clear that this is an attractive market. With consumers becoming increasingly aware of technology and the value they generate in the social space, they are now looking to own their own data and generate cash at the same time.

To capitalise on this trend, we are starting to see a number of early stage companies create ‘data locker’ services for individuals to enter their personal data and allow access to it – for a fee. However this doesn’t currently include the wealth of data being collected by search and social media companies based upon your online activities.

There are many stories about how successful business people have put themselves into their customers shoes, to really understand the client needs, based upon what the client does, not what they tell you. Well, if companies could do that based upon original unfiltered client data from many different sources, then they are likely to pay handsomely for that knowledge.

There are benefits to the data owner as well, beyond just cash. What if the person could allow access to that data to create value for themselves? Imagine buying a new car or looking to invest in a new stock or insurance policy. By allowing systems to have time limited access to your data, you can receive relevant car offers or information about financial product without the need to go through a lengthy shopping or advisory process. This type of data sharing could revolutionise many service industries.

Although the above scenario may still be some years away, Personal Identity Management is becoming a reality. Some consumers already manage medical, financial and retail data lockers through a single portal.

So what does this mean for business leaders in both public and private sector? Primarily it will force even closer collaboration between CMOs and CIOs. Marketing and IT have to work closer together in the Personal Identity Management space. There are many operational issues that will need to be addressed. Privacy and data sharing policies, security policies, openness about how to collect and use data as well as allowing users to delete data if needed. But also enable data to be moved and used by its user owners. This will require a major rethink in how businesses collect and analyse their data.

We are at the beginning of this journey. Over the coming years we see personal data lockers storing information ranging from medical data, information from your connected vehicle, personal energy use & carbon, right through to your financial and investment profile.

Today, few business leaders believe that people are ready to manage their personal data in the next few years. But believe me we are only a few years away . Get ready.

About this author

Picture of Danny Wootton

Danny Wootton

Danny is Innovation Director for CGI UK, responsible for innovation across all divisions and delivery organisations and across the UK markets - a role Danny describes as the best job at CGI. Parts of the role include building strategic relationships with CGI’s clients around ...

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