Canadians would charge $2,168 for access to their data

January 31, 2014  |  Jeff Fraser  |  Comments

Almost a third (32%) of Canadians surveyed by Microsoft are willing to give the right brand unfettered access to their personal digital information, but the average asking price is steep: $2,168 for a lifetime’s worth of unlimited personal data.

The finding was published in Microsoft’s Digital Trends report, which looks at the consumer behaviour of regular and heavy internet users in nine global markets. The study found that consumers have become more aware that their data is valuable to marketers and have heightened expectations of what they should get for it.

Microsoft chief solutions officer Rick Chavez, quoted in the report, sums up consumers’ attitude: “I didn’t give you my data to make it your data. I gave you my data to make my experience better, and I expect value in exchange.”

Of 1,000 Canadians polled, almost half said they were interested in exchanging personal data for rewards. But for many that’s an idle desire — only 28% said they know how to get data rewards, and 19% both know how to get data rewards and actively use them to discriminate between brands that they buy from.

On the other hand, rewards for data could be a big differentiator for brands that adopt early, since more than half of consumers — including many who aren’t currently getting data rewards — said they would be more likely to buy from brands that offer them.

As awareness grows about the importance of data collection to marketers, the industry can expect to see more tools to help consumers control and monetize their own data. The Microsoft report points to Mydex, a British non-profit that creates a “Personal Data Store” where individuals can manage, analyze and share (or decline to share) personal data.

By the numbers
(Data from Microsoft Digital Trends)


Canadians aware their data is valuable to marketers


Know how to exchange data for rewards


Interested in exchanging data for rewards


Willing to sell all their digital data to the right brand, for the right price


More likely to buy from brands that reward them for digital information

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