Cost of Personal Data

Companies collect more and more data about consumers. But which kind of personal data do consumers value the most, and what do they expect in return for their data?

Ditte Brix & Lasse Brodersen

Aarhus University, IT and Communication Studies

Project partners:


This project will investigate which kind of personal information customers are willing to share, and uncover what the customers expect in return for giving up their personal data? These findings will help us explore, how the use of personal data about individual customers can be used to provide targeted communication to the customers and thereby (hopefully) increase sales. We will provide new insight and ideas for how the generic product information currently presented, can potentially be expanded to use more personalized information about the active customer (member data, previous purchases, previous activity on website, etc.).

The project has a specific focus on:

We explore which kind of data consumers are willing to give and what value they expect in return.

  • What do customers value most in a shopping experience? Expertise, discounts, convenience, etc.?

  • Do they consider the pages they have liked on Facebook as personal data? Can retailers use this data to target communication?

  • Are families willing to give data about lifestyle (e.g. an active lifestyle), so retailers can push notications when it is time for new shoes to the kids? Etc.

These are just some of the questions around which we will build our test concepts. Our goal is to help define “which data is okay” and “which data is not okay” for a retailer to collect, and what value customers expect in return for their data? The purpose of this is to target only relevant information to customers , thereby increasing brand loyalty.

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