Read about our views on marketplace changes as well as updates on our research and event programmes.

In this newsletter we cover the latest global and local developments in the personal information market. We trail our next report on Identity Assurance, already a £300m market, and give a round-up of the month's news.

Unfolding developments

The market for personal information has changed significantly, even in the last month, and we are delighted to see a whole series of exciting developments.

In our report on personal data stores (PDS) we’ve looked at the possibility that there could be as many as 100m examples of personal data handbacks in the UK this year. We predict that over…

May 26 is an important date for UK websites and businesses. As from then, all businesses have to comply with the so-called Cookie law. The essence of this law is that users must be asked for their consent before cookies are used. We’ve wrestled with the practical implications of how to do this and this post sets out our thoughts.

Let’s get the important, but dull, points out of the way. The law is the law and you have to comply. We are neither lawyers nor experts so you shouldn’t assume these thoughts constitute legal advice. The law applies…

Last week I met with some people from a large high street retailer, reviewing the company's strategy over the next five years. We talked about where the customer/personal data landscape would be by then. This is a summary of what I said.

1. A significant (and growing) number of customers will be using personal data stores or equivalent services to help them manage their own personal information.  Many of these will be companies’ most valuable customers.

2. Customers will expect the companies they deal with to provide complete access to their customer data e.g. what they bought, when, for how…

Scottish Power leads on midata

Posted: 17th May, 2012 | 0 comments

Today, Scottish Power becomes the first company to start releasing data back to customers as part of the midata programme.  Midata is a UK Government-backed initiative to encourage companies to release data back to customers in a portable electronic format so they can use this data for their own purposes. Ctrl-Shift is advising the Department of Business on midata.

We spoke to Andrew Ward, Operations Director at Scottish Power, about its involvement in midata.

What are you doing?

We are releasing customer consumption histories in an electronic format, so they can take their own information to find the…

About a year ago, the World Economic Forum produced a report talking about personal data as 'a new asset class'. Some said it is 'the new oil' energising and greasing the wheels of the information age. But personal data isn't a traditional asset like oil in two critical respects.

First, when we collect, refine, process and use oil it has no feelings about that matter. But personal data - which is about persons - is different. Persons care about how their data is collected, refined and used and by whom. They want to have a say in the matter.

Second, the 'asset'…

The Intention Economy

Posted: 8th May, 2012 | 0 comments

“Customer power will be personal, not just collective. Each customer will come to market equipped with his or her own means for collecting and storing personal data, expressing demand, making choices, setting preferences, proffering terms of engagement, offering payments, and participating in relationships - whether those relationships are shallow or deep, and whether they last for moments or years. Those means will be standardised. No vendor will control them.”

This paragraph sums up the subject matter of Doc Searls' new book The Intention Economy - and the trend towards 'VRM' or Vendor Relationship Management.

I'll do a proper review…

MesInfos UK visit

Posted: 3rd May, 2012 | 0 comments

Last week Ctrl-Shift hosted an intensive and fascinating two day event for the participants of the French MesInfos programme. MesInfos is run by the French think tank Fing and has similar aims to the UK Government’s midata initiative to release customer data back to customers so they can use it for their own purposes. The delegation included representatives from Société Générale, Le Groupe La Poste, Monoprix and Orange-France Telecom Group.

To help them get a flavor of midata and the changing personal data landscape we lined up an impressive array of briefings from the likes of: Visa Europe; Callcredit;…

Going it alone to search out and switch to a better deal is the orthodox route to better value in our energy, telecoms and financial services markets. Trouble is, trying to find a better deal in these markets can be like panning for gold: it’s difficult to know where to start, it’s time consuming, hard work and the chances of it paying off are slim. The mass consumer inertia that has come to characterise these markets is a predictable response to those high switching costs.

Is an alternative, straightforward route to better value now possible? One where an intermediary can…

PDS market worth £1bn

Posted: 1st May, 2012 | 0 comments

· New tools and services help consumers control their privacy and leverage personal data

· Significant commercial opportunity undetected by most businesses

· Global scramble for market leadership under way

A vibrant new market with a possible UK value of £1billion by 2016 is highlighted in our latest report.

Personal data stores can help individuals unlock the value from their data, whether it’s analysing electricity usage to check we’re on the best tariff, revealing how much we’re spending at certain retail outlets or keeping our personal information in a secure location under our control. Personal data stores (PDS) give consumers…