Items tagged "customer data"

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

One step closer to the Segment of One

Posted: 24th November, 2014 | 0 comments

Meeco is a new PIMS launching a capability to enable sharing rich-data through a user-centric platform. We asked Meeco’s CEO & founder Katryna Dow to tell us about her initiative.

Around us we see tectonic shifts in the global economy and the focus on big-data. Out of the chaos a new market is emerging; one that places individuals and citizens at the centre of the data centric market, what Tim Berners Lee refers to as rich data. Whilst governments and business are tackling the issues of personal identity, open data, privacy, crypto currency and the Internet-of-Things, new services designed…

How 'privacy' misses the point

Posted: 20th October, 2014 | 0 comments

If Ctrl-Shift got a pound every time a corporate executive told us ‘there is no evidence consumers really care about privacy’ we’d be millionaires by now - it’s worth unpicking this statement just to see how dangerous it is.

Let’s start with evidence. Everyone agrees that consumers say there are concerned about how their personal data is being collected and used. The question is whether consumers care enough to do something about it.

According to soon-to-be-published Ctrl-Shift/GfK research they answer is ‘Yes’ – but not necessarily in a way that companies would notice. We found significant proportions of consumers (between…

Brands as information services

Posted: 6th October, 2014 | 0 comments

Consider two alternative scenarios.

Scenario 1, would-be camera buyers are presented with just two cameras, one at £150 and the other at £230.
Scenario 2, they are presented with three cameras this time: the first two plus one at a much higher price.

How do you think consumers respond to these two scenarios? The same finding has been repeated again and again.

In scenario 1, people opt for the cheaper camera. But in scenario 2, they tend to opt for what is now the middle priced one..  Nothing has changed about the cameras themselves. Only the way information…

A new social contract for personal data

Posted: 29th September, 2014 | 0 comments

This week marks the launch of Tim Berners-Lee’s new campaign for an internet ‘Magna Carta’. Speaking at the WebWeWant festival in London over the weekend, the ‘inventor of the web’ warned that the basic principles that originally defined the internet – such as being open and being free – are now being threatened by large corporations and governments who now see the internet as a potentially powerful weapon of control.

Exactly what this new Magna Carta should say is now being crowd-sourced through multiple consultations over the coming weeks and months.

Berners-Lee’s Magna Carta is not the only…

The worm turns on Personal Data

Posted: 22nd September, 2014 | 0 comments

Take a few snippets from this week’s news.

First, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Open Letter on privacy. Here is what he said:

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.”

With this statement he’s creating clear…

The vulnerabilities of storing our personal data on centralised servers has been brought to light following the unwarranted publication of hundreds of images last week. With many suspecting Apple’s iCloud as the source, something which the company denies, it further raises concerns about how our personal data is stored and used by organisations.

So what can we do it about it? Distrust and concern over the control of our personal data is driving the growth of the market for Personal Information Management Services including Personal Data Management Services that help individuals gather, store,…

Talk to most marketers and you get the impression that they know what makes their customers tick. They have piles of marketing research to prove it. But do they really? The recent fast.MAP Marketing Gap Tracker looked at the differences between what marketers think and what customer think. Surprise, surprise, it found that marketers don’t really know how their customers think at all.

One of the Tracker’s key findings was the importance of customer trust. The annual Edelman Trust Barometer looks at how much customers trust business across a range of factors. The most recent Barometer made for…

In a world of Personal Information Management Services (PIMS) individuals (consumers, customers, citizens) are empowered with sources of data, analytics, tools and technologies that were once the sole preserve of large, incumbent product or service providers. As PIMS change the relationship between companies and customers, how should incumbents respond?

The answer is to go with the flow and embrace the trend towards personal information services: to evolve towards ‘brand as information service’ strategies. Adopting a 'brand as information service' strategy can trigger a far-reaching reappraisal of what value you seek…

In this guest blog post David Rawlins, Programme Leader midata, at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills discusses progress of the midata programme.

The UK’s midata programme, which encourages companies to hand back to their customers the personal data they hold on them, has been going for a while now so we have been reviewing progress and have published a report.

Review of the midata voluntary programme

In two sectors, energy and personal current accounts, there have recently been some positive developments.

On 11 June, a ministerial roundtable hosted by Jenny Willott (Consumer…

Last Wednesday we held a special briefing for businesses wanting to explore the the opportunities and threats generated by the emerging market for Personal Information Management Services (PIMS). Business leaders from the banking, retail, telco, finance, regulatory and price comparison service sectors – and three Personal Information Management Service entrepreneurs – joined us to explore the range of new opportunities and discuss the questions that still need answering.
Ctrl-Shift Senior Consultant Jamie Smith presented our new research which estimates the potential size of the market for new Personal Information Management Services as £16.5 billion or 1.2% of gross…

If you think about it, it's obvious. When push comes to shove, privacy has to be a personal setting because only the individual knows what information he or she feels comfortable sharing with who, in what context, for what purposes.

Simple. Obvious. And full of far reaching implications.

Accepting that privacy is a personal setting means that individuals should be able to understand the implications of the data they are sharing, that they have some control over what data they share, that there are some mechanisms for ensuring the people they share the data with can act on these preferences…

A new market has emerged for personal data management services (PDMS) that help individuals assert more control over how their data is collected and used. This market is now growing fast with more than one new launch a week over the last year and it is beginning to transform relationships between customers and brands, says our new research “Mapping the market for personal data management” launched today at our inaugural Personal Information Economy 2014 event.

Traditionally, companies collect data about customers and use this data for their own purposes. But this traditional approach is giving way to new relationships…

We are delighted to announce our new Chairman, David Pickering, along with two other new members of our senior team who have joined Ctrl-Shift to support the company's growth and future development.

The personal information economy is evolving rapidly - with  individuals increasingly exerting their choice over the amount of information they share with organisations - and far sighted brands are realising that building trusted data sharing relationships is key to future success. Our forthcoming Personal Information Economy 2014 event explores the business opportunities of this new landscape. As the market is developing the demand for our unique market…

Next Generation Intermediaries

Posted: 24th January, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the biggest unmet consumer needs in society today is ‘decision support’.

Every day, every individual – whether customer, consumer or citizen – makes multiple decisions about many complex things: managing our money, managing our home, our heath, career, leisure activities and so on. Few of us are experts in any of these things. So we find ourselves muddling along, making do, procrastinating, being frustrated by a lack of information or understanding of the options, getting anxious about making the wrong decisions, and so on.

Enter the new market for decision support services – one of the key drivers…

Merry Christmas from Ctrl-Shift

Posted: 20th December, 2013 | 0 comments

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays from everybody at Ctrl-Shift. It’s been an exciting year for us and there’s been a real change in the air across the Personal Information Economy. This year we have seen personal data become a growing priority for businesses and consumers alike.

In 2013 the growing market for personal data empowerment saw key business developments, changing consumer attitudes, technological innovations and legal and regulatory developments. High profile organisations and some leading blue chip brands promoted privacy and data transparency for consumers. There was growing controversy over the way some companies and governments gather, share…

At Ctrl-Shift we constantly monitor the market for personal data and personal data services via weekly newsletters like Market Watch. We’ve summed up the key developments of the last year in our new Personal Information Economy Round-Up.

Most of us would agree that the personal information economy is evolving rapidly. But where are the most important changes unfolding? And when, and how, will their impacts be most sharply felt? The Round-Up reviews these developments across four main drivers of change: business (corporate, competitive and marketing initiatives), consumer (changing attitudes, expectations and behaviours including media coverage of consumer issues),…

midata learnings

Posted: 20th November, 2013 | 0 comments

The midata Innovation Lab (mIL) wound up Phase One yesterday with the publication of a report highlighting the key learnings, and a speech by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson at a showcase event where she predicted “in a few years time, we will all be using apps whose origins lie in this Lab”.

The mIL, she said, had been “wonderfully valuable” in creating the “tangible examples that create light bulb moments” where people grasp the potential of midata.

Key learnings from the mIL include the need to focus communications on value rather than the data per se and the need to automate…

The midata Innovation Lab (mIL) today published five ground-breaking new apps focused on key issues and tasks in consumers’ lives.

The apps, the product of intensive collaboration between the mIL’s 26 Founding Partners, are designed to demonstrate to companies, individuals and policy makers the potential of the new approach to personal data being pioneered by the mIL – aggregating the individual’s data (from many different sources) around the individual and integrating this data in innovative ways to make new services possible.

The mIL, hosted by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, was launched in July this year to provide a unique…

CTRLio is a digital profile management service which aims to help users control and benefit from their personal data. By handing back control of personal data assets to individuals CTRLio believes businesses will develop more engaging commerce. The London-based company recently won investment from Seedcamp, a seed investment company specialising in innovative tech startups. We spoke to CPO and co-founder Dominic Strowbridge to find out more about the business.


1. What’s the big benefit your service is designed to offer?

CTRLio helps customers manage their digital profiles and use the information they…

Handshake is a new app and web service (in beta) that aims to help consumers to negotiate a price for their personal data and sell it directly to companies. Consumers create profiles choosing how much data they want to share. These are accessed by brands that contact individuals via the app and offer them rewards in exchange for their information. The offer to business is that they can benefit from real-time customer interactions creating opportunities to build more positive relationships with consumers. We spoke to Duncan White, a founder of Handshake, to find out more about the business.

The midata Innovation Lab (mIL) exhibited at the recent Campus Party Europe event in London. It was fantastic to see it being showcased alongside so many other exciting emerging technologies and services, proving how important the personal data market is becoming. The Digital Confidence Panel, which took centre stage on day two, discussed how permissioned based sharing of personal data could provide better services for consumers. The Panel, featuring the think tank Demos, the ODI, Telefonica, MIT, IBM and the ICO, supported the mIL as an inspiring demonstrator essential for exploring innovation and trust. Below is a video of some sound bites from the discussion.


From Monday 16 September UK banks will offer their customers a guaranteed ability to switch current accounts in a simple, reliable, hassle free way.  The product of two years’ work by the payment industry’s regulator the Payments Council, there are high hopes the new switching guarantee will force banks to be more competitive and improve their customer service.

This comment from Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson is typical. “At the moment far too many consumers put up with poor service from their bank simply because they believe switching to be too complicated,” he says. “Increased competition forces…

An ad-free Internet?

Posted: 30th August, 2013 | 0 comments

An interesting article in the New York Times supports what we’ve been saying for some time. Today’s internet business model is supported by advertising which is driven by sellers trying to find buyers, reach out to them, and persuade them to buy. It’s a seller-centric model driven by sellers’ need to sell.

We think this model is tipping on its head, to become much more buyer-centric, driven by buyers trying to find the products, services and suppliers they want and make better decisions about their purchases.

Under this model the emphasis shifts from advertising to decision support. Fundamentally, it’s exactly…

Do you want to keep abreast of the key international commercial, technical and legal/regulatory developments and commentary around the changing personal data landscape? Ctrl-Shift produces a weekly Market Watch update tracking events, announcements and new services of interest as the value of personal data is re-assessed. Please register here if you would like to subscribe to this free resource to keep you up to date and informed.

Attitudes to personal data are shifting quickly, from data as a tool in the hands of organisations to data as a tool in the hands of the individual; from organisations collecting, managing…

The midata Innovation Lab (mIL) is the world’s fastest-built data innovation lab, bringing together the most interesting and varied datasets (integrated around individuals) for brands, developers and consumer bodies to innovate with. The mIL is made up of nine ‘learning and doing strands’. Each strand, led by one of the founding partners, explores and builds learnings in the various consumer, business and wider social aspects that we think will form part of the emerging ecosystem.

Ctrl-Shift is leading on the Innovative Apps & Services strand. The aim of the strand is to generate ideas, concepts and prototype services using data…

Following the launch of the midata Innovation Lab (mIL) we spoke with Dan Bates, mIL Director, about the next phase for the lab, the innovation we can look forward to, and how businesses and individuals can get involved.

What's next post launch of the mIL?

The launch is of course just the start. The objective now is to help materially move the personal data debate forward in the UK, via practical activity with the different stakeholders. We have set up a number of  different learning streams of activity to cover the different angles - including development and consumer…

An interview with DuckDuckGo

Posted: 19th July, 2013 | 0 comments

DuckDuckGo is search engine with a unique selling point that it puts users’ privacy first. The Prism scandal created concern among web users as to what information companies like Google collect about them and how this data is used. In the two weeks following the NSA story, DuckDuckGo saw its web queries surge by 90% - a sign of growing consumer awareness and concern about online tracking.

DuckDuckGo does not track users and or bias results to what they think users might like to see. Instead they offer an instant answer platform, developed with partners Wolfram…

There’s a huge amount going on in the world of Open Data. There’s a huge amount going on in the world of personal data. What happens when these two worlds meet?

Answer: a veritable value explosion, as our new paper When Open Data meets Personal Data shows.

There’s something really special about this value explosion.

Big Data – the world of large volume data sets, statistics, correlations, patterns and trends – has huge potential in its own right. But it also has its limitations. Knowing where every bus or tube is, right now, on the London transport system is…

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has officially announced the opening of the midata Innovation Lab (mIL) today. Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Today’s most successful businesses are the ones that are creative about building customer relationships. The new ’midata’ Lab is an exciting opportunity to put this to the test and explore how businesses could help customers use the data around their spending habits to make better choices.

“There is a lot to be gained from being open and using the information gathered on customers with their knowledge. Developing new and innovative ways to see data also…

midata Innovation Lab launches

Posted: 4th July, 2013 | 0 comments

Seeing is believing.  Many people can’t see the opportunity of something really new until they can see a working example. At Ctrl-Shift we can say that one day there will be as many services based on the permission based sharing of personal data as there are physical products using say, plastic or metal components. But until we provide those working examples many people – companies, individuals, policy makers – will mutter ‘it’s just a theory’ and walk away.

That’s why, in our role as business advisors to the UK Government’s midata programme we’ve been beavering away with colleagues from…

To see just how vicious the privacy battle between Microsoft and Google is getting, take a look at Microsoft’s parody of Google’s latest ad campaign. It’s one minute of extraordinary content.

Of course Microsoft has its own commercial agenda. For example, it's desperate to persuade consumers to switch their default search engine from Google to Bing. But that’s the point. The issue of ‘privacy’ and personal data is no longer about some individuals’ sensitivity or squeamishness, abstract moral debates or arcane policy wrangles. It’s moving on. It’s now about money – big money – as brands realise that the…

A new, short paper published today by Ctrl-Shift explores the business opportunity presented by Trust Frameworks. It is a useful introduction and reference document for marketing leads, customer experience strategists and data scientists who want to understand more about such frameworks and their potential to add value to organisations competing in our data rich economy.

Trust Frameworks offer an innovative and effective response to growing consumer concerns about how their data is gathered, used and monetised. They can take different forms but all share a common underlying purpose of using trust to facilitate value creation.

Ctrl-Shift's research of the…

New research published by Ctrl-Shift today (Breakthrough Efficiency Summary) today shows organisations could achieve dramatic cost savings/efficiency improvements by connecting to new businesses providing data services to individuals.

Organisations in both public and private sectors currently struggle with multiple, constant headaches when it comes to managing and using customer data. They struggle to keep their data up to date and accurate; with inefficiencies caused by inaccurate and partial data; with high costs of identity assurance and associated risks; with managing market research; and with over-reliance on paper-based rather than digital processes.

Now, however, new services that elicit…

As part of its Rethinking Personal Data project the World Economic Forum has just published its latest paper Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage.

One of the key passages reads as follows:

From passive consent to engaged individuals
“Organizations (the operations of which depend on a relationship of positive engagement with their customers) need to understand and accommodate the changing role of the individual by engaging with and empowering them. The individual was historically seen as a “data subject” – a passive consumer of products and services who was tracked for customer relationship management…

To get a glimpse of the future of consumer empowering services take a look at MoneySavingExpert’s new initiative the Cheap Energy Club – a price comparison service that not only compares prices but understands the behaviours and attitudes that stop us doing stuff we know we should.

Make it easy for me!

Instead of enabling one comparison (and perhaps one switch) Cheap Energy Club keeps on comparing your tariff against the market, month by month, so that you know when you are getting out of kilter and need to do something about it.

It’s also designed to address the…

When we researched the changing personal data landscape a year ago we identified two underlying trends.

Historically, organisations have acted as the data manager and user. But now individuals are becoming managers of their own data and using information as a tool in their own hands. These trends are creating a hotspot of innovation – aspects of which include midata data releases to individuals, personal data stores and PIMS (information management services that help individuals make better decisions and manage their lives better).

These trends are creating a dilemma for organisations. On the one hand, far-sighted…

We’ve had some great media coverage of our new report ‘What are banks for? Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking’.

Banking Technology highlights the ‘Race to build customer-centred banking is on’ and the report’s findings that ‘the banks surveyed by the study rated the importance of information-driven services to customer loyalty very highly, at 8.2 out of 10.’

Information Age reports ‘banks see information-driven services as a way to improve loyalty’ and carries a quote from Ctrl-Shift Strategy Director Alan Mitchell, "The first wave of online banking was really just a sort of digital version of what you…

Customer loyalty in retail banking

Posted: 22nd November, 2012 | 0 comments

We’ve completed our major research project looking at customer loyalty in retail banking. The report, ‘What are banks for? Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking’ is compelling reading for anyone who wants to understand what customer loyalty means for banks in today’s digital economy.

We knew the research subject was ‘of the moment’ when we gained immediate interest and involvement from senior directors in the UK’s big four retailing banking groups, both big and small building societies, new market entrants and pure play internet banks.

The findings are significant for an industry under pressure to improve customer focus and agility:…

Fascinating couple of days at Sibos leading up to and after our presentation of our research into the business potential of SWIFT Innotribe’s proposed new Digital Asset Grid.

You can see our White Paper on information logistics and why it’s important here, and all the core presentation material here and here.

Two (opposite) sets of responses from people. Some don’t get it. When we talk about enabling information sharing, they think we are trying to solve a problem that’s already been solved. ‘Why do we need this when we’ve Facebook, gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn etc’. As yet, they don't…

Slowly but surely the various pieces of the new Personal Data Ecosystem jigsaw are falling into place. Actually, not that slowly. The pace is hotting up.

Today, at the Sibos conference in Osaka, Japan, Ctrl-Shift reports the results of a six month research project for SWIFT, the global financial payments provider. The research, which involved most of the world’s leading banks, investigates the business case for a new piece of infrastructure called the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) designed to facilitate secure, permission-based data sharing between different parties: organisations, individuals and even devices. Not to put too fine a point…

A red letter day for data

Posted: 23rd October, 2012 | 0 comments

Today is a red letter day for data. BT has today announced a global information logistics service. The potential impact on the data market is transformational. It is one of the first information logistics platforms in the world delivering enhanced productivity, improved customer service and operational efficiencies through enabling multiple streams of near real time and static data to flow between businesses. It is an especially exciting development for Ctrl-Shift because of our involvement at the innovation, vision and definition phase. Through our bespoke research Ctrl-Shift helped to define the scope and value chain, size the information logistics market and assess…

midata principles gain ground

Posted: 14th October, 2012 | 0 comments

The evidence that midata is the way forward keeps coming. Last week Marketing magazine asked four senior brand leaders, ‘Could allowing consumers access to their data backfire on brands?’ Their resounding answer was that being transparent with consumer data, and enabling access to it, is the future for companies. Brands that realise the potential for personal information services enabled by data sharing will “be rewarded with increased loyalty.”

This is a follow up to the recent article on Tesco’s investment in Clubcard Play – Tesco’s new commitment to give consumers access to their own data to help them…

Tesco moves on midata

Posted: 2nd October, 2012 | 0 comments

Marketing magazine carries a story this week about a new job ad from Tesco for a Product Manager ‘My Data’.

The successful candidate, it says, “will define the strategy to develop and support the deployment of Group-wide capability to deliver market-leading products and games which give our Clubcard customers simple, useful, fun access to their own data to help them plan and achieve their goals.”

There we have it: the paradigm shift in personal/customer data grasped and understood by the country’s biggest retailer. Not only can customer data be used to help organisations achieve their goals, it can also…

Are you interested to find out the future legislative, technical and commercial developments in the personal data landscape? We’ve created a dynamic online timeline charting the evolution of key events over the next five years as we see it. This will be a living resource; we’ll update the projection on a regular basis and if you have any contributions or comments we'd love to hear from you. We hope it will be a really useful tool for those who are investigating their opportunities in the market and wanting to inform their strategy and approach.

Drawing on a lively…

Demos report: The Data Dialogue

Posted: 25th September, 2012 | 0 comments

Think tank Demos has published an important report, The Data Dialogue, which concludes that, “none of the potential gains of the information revolution can be realised unless people are at the heart of any new settlement”. It highlights the agenda shift that needs to happen if businesses are to capitalise on the new wave of innovation and opportunities which we predict can be created when information becomes a tool in the hands of the individual.

Demos state, "Data and information sovereignty is the next big consumer issue. The Populus survey suggests that people share an increasing amount of information…

Innovation opportunities of midata

Posted: 6th September, 2012 | 0 comments

According to Professor Nigel Shadbolt, the UK Government’s Information Advisor, interviewed on Radio 4’s You and Yours programme this week, the midata initiative will spur UK innovation. It will unlock and stimulate a whole range of new personal information management services to help people use their own data to support and inform them about their lives. Many of these services, he said, we can’t yet imagine, but some are on the horizon and a new UK industry will emerge.

This is what he said about what midata is aiming to address.

"The idea behind midata is that all of our interactions…

In this summer issue we cover our forthcoming research schedule, an update on the midata consultation and some new start-ups.

Ctrl-Shift research

Increasingly, we’re being asked many of the the same questions about the emerging personal data market so we’re focusing our forthcoming Autumn/Winter research reports on developing answers to them.

In a world drowning in data, what infrastructure, rules and commercial models enable the right information to be shared at the right time with the right people? This information logistics challenge is easy to talk about but hard to do. Our forthcoming report on Information Logistics will…

midata news coverage

Posted: 22nd August, 2012 | 0 comments

There has been some great BBC broadcast news coverage today of the midata consultation. Hopefully it will raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of the programme and its game changing potential for all UK organisations.

Liz Brandt, Ctrl-Shift CEO, was interviewed on Radio Five Live’s ‘Wake Up to Money’ programme.  It was short and sweet and you can listen to it from 26.40 mins into the programme.

Liz, who has been advising the Government on its midata strategy from its inception, emphasised the empowering opportunity of midata for consumers – enabling them to use new apps, tools and…

Why legislate on midata?

Posted: 7th August, 2012 | 0 comments

As some of you may know, Ctrl-Shift has been acting as a strategic advisors to the UK Government’s midata programme. Now the pace is accelerating decisively with the Government’s move to give UK consumers additional statutory rights to their data in portable electronic form.

Of course, decisions like this are political and made by ministers. We weren’t party to the political discussions. But from the specific perspective of midata itself here are some reasons why this initiative is a good move.

Consumer Minister Norman Lamb notes in his introduction to the consultation midata has made significant progress over the last…

Competing for customer loyalty

Posted: 1st August, 2012 | 0 comments

Loyal customers are the bedrock of business and the benefits of loyalty are well understood. But what does customer loyalty actually mean in today’s changing environment, what are the drivers and factors that determine loyalty, and what are the opportunities for those who are getting it right?

These are the key questions we are asking as we initiate a board level strategic study into the changes affecting customer loyalty in banking. Here’s a little more about what we are doing and why.

The shifting sands of customer loyalty

Loyalty currently suffers from confused terminology. People use the ‘L’ word to…

I've been catching up a little on underlying theories of information. Here’s what I found.

James Gleick, who also wrote Chaos, is a brilliant writer. His book The Information, is a fascinating read but is ultimately disappointing because everything he says is based on theories of Claude Shannon.

Shannon was a brilliant engineer who did much to make today’s information age possible. As an engineer he was focused on getting a message from A to B as accurately and efficiently as possible. He didn’t care what it said. So his theory of information said that to measure information all…

In this newsletter we cover our new report on the identity assurance market, hot off the press this week. We also give you a preview of our forthcoming research on customer loyalty, an update on the recent World Economic Forum Re-thinking Personal Data meeting in London, and close with a smattering of market news.

Ctrl-shift research

Identity assurance. We’ve now published our report on the UK identity assurance market. We think that the path the Government is on, a truly citizen-centric one, could cause serious disruption in the long-term. Even in the short-term the money being put into the…

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…

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…

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;…

Are You the Next Big Cash Crop?

Posted: 14th March, 2012 | 0 comments

The following is a guest post by Alan published yesterday by TVO a Canadian media organisation.

What are you? A human being or a vegetable?

Okay, it’s a silly question. But in the context of "Big Data," -- the collecting of massive amounts of online data by companies, advertisers and marketers -- it’s not that silly.

Consider some differences between a human being and a vegetable. A human being has some sort of ownership and control over their own assets, a vegetable doesn’t. The farmer grows cabbages, wheat or coffee, and appropriates what they produce. The coffee plant doesn’t have any say…

The value in Internet Of Things

Posted: 13th March, 2012 | 0 comments

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is already underway and machines are ‘talking’ to each other. Buildings, transport infrastructure, cars, healthcare equipment, industrial resources, mobile devices and even consumer goods are able to communicate, sense, analyse and produce useful information with the potential to completely transform how we live, work, travel and manage our lives. Growth estimates vary but according to Ericsson* there are 100 to 200 million connections today, growing to 1 billion over five years.

However, at the moment the full economic potential of the Internet of Things or the Machine to Machine (M2M) market is thwarted by lack…

BBC report on new EU legislation

Posted: 15th February, 2012 | 0 comments

The BBC’s report Do you have the right to be forgotten online gives a really good overview of the new European Data Protection legislation, its aims to put people back in control of their personal data and what it means for consumers. “Companies can’t go foraging for data in the wild and pretend that what they find is theirs. The big idea at the heart of the new directive is that personal data is...personal’.

The report features the great new video released by the European Commission this week warning people that they could be sharing more than they…

EU data law's big strategic questions

Posted: 2nd February, 2012 | 0 comments

I have to say, I’m puzzled by the reaction so far to the EU proposed new regulations for data protection.

There’s been a lot of debate about a proposed new ‘right to be forgotten’. However, from what I read of the actual draft legislation, the ifs and buts of this new right mean its real impact could be pretty limited. There’s considerable corporate hand-wringing about the penalties for breaking the new law, but the proposed maximum fines would only apply to the most flagrant violations and be tested in the courts.

Hand-ringing about the cost of implementation is more interesting:…

Phew! It has taken us six months but we got there in the end. Today (27 January), in the lead up to Data Protection Day (28th January) we’ve published new research assessing the privacy policies of the UK’s top 100 online retailers – the sector where many consumers most commonly experience the benefits and pitfalls of e-commerce.

We don’t think anyone has ever done this before and now we’ve got to the end, we’re not surprised. The project kicked off in the summer of 2011 when we started to think through an objective assessment of the state of the nation…

Consumer empowerment in 2012

Posted: 5th January, 2012 | 0 comments

So what trends will take shape in 2012 as the control shift continues in this era of consumer empowerment?

Consumers will continue to assert their ‘voice’ harnessing social media to organise themselves and share information. This level of active participation as people engage more vocally with organisations and each other is likely to grow and increase in momentum.

Using technology people will connect and collaborate in new ways causing disruption to established order. People’s shopping habits will continue the trend from ‘bricks’ to better-informed ‘clicks’. Consumers will be more active and demanding in their relationships with businesses; ‘I like this’ or…

Milestones in the control shift

Posted: 15th December, 2011 | 0 comments

So much has happened and changed in 2011 and the control shift is well underway. We've captured below some of the significant milestones that have unfolded this year with links to the relevant news items taken from our Market Watch.

Consumer empowerment

Consumer habits are rapidly changing driven by technology and use of social media. Consumers are becoming hyper connected and active participants in markets and they are recognising the power of acting collectively (think Occupy London). They are changing their shopping habits: according to Reevoo’s research nearly 90% of respondents would not purchase a product before reading others’…

Playing down good news isn’t something one expects from politicians these days, but there’s at least one real driver for growth buried in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. In it he announced new Open Data measures, and this signals a battery of initiatives that will present new and exciting opportunities to outperform our decreased growth forecast. According to the Cabinet Office the measures will, ‘open up public sector data to make travel easier and healthcare better, and create significant growth for industry and jobs in the UK.’ More Open Data will ‘allow entrepreneurs to develop useful applications for business and consumers’.…

The new personal data landscape

Posted: 22nd November, 2011 | 0 comments

At our recent event ‘To hoard or to share: midata and the personal data-sharing revolution’ Alan Mitchell discussed the Government’s midata programme in the broader context of changes to the personal data landscape. We’ve now published a report on the New Personal Data Landscape that identifies these transformational trends, highlights the emerging market for new personal data management services and analyses the opportunities and threats for organisations.

For the last fifty years organisations have had a monopoly on the collection and use of customer data. But this is changing. Individuals are starting to collect and manage their…

Our midata event takes place tomorrow and we wanted to say thank you to our sponsors Mydex and Callcredit for supporting us. Both organisations provide revolutionary services embracing and underpinning the new personal data landscape.

Tom Ilube from Callcredit will be giving an update at the event on Noddle a ‘poster child’ of midata. The service simply turns the existing personal credit rating on its head. Usual practice for credit reports is that they are requested by the credit provider at the end of a sales process. But when it is launched later this year, Noddle will allow any…

midata news coverage

Posted: 4th November, 2011 | 0 comments

There's been quite a lot of news coverage of the midata launch - which is about time given its potential long term significance.

The BBC has a vox pop from midata chair Prof Nigel Shadbolt.

The Wall Street Journal asks some pertinent questions about how these ideas need to be packaged and presented.

The FT reports on Ctrl-Shift's estimate that the first round of midata could involve 20 million individuals.

Ctrl-Shift's press release about midata identified three new and very large growth markets made possible by midata.  The very existence of these markets has been rendered invisible…


Today the following businesses announced their commitment to the midata principle of releasing customers’ data back to them in a portable electronic form: Avoco Secure; billmonitor; British Gas; Callcredit; EDF Energy; E.ON; Garlik; Google; Lloyds Banking Group; MasterCard;; Mydex; npower; RBS; Scottish Power; Scottish Southern Energy; The UK Cards Association; Three; and Visa.

At Ctrl-Shift we’ve been talking about midata for a while now, partly because we’ve been advising the Government on the programme, but mainly because we genuinely believe it marks the beginning of a fundamental shift in the way companies and customers manage their relationships…

Yesterday’s Energy Summit saw the first significant announcement of the Government’s midata programme, which we expect to gather pace over the autumn.

Government, consumer groups including Citizens Advice Bureau, the six largest energy suppliers and industry regulator Ofgem agreed a range of measures to empower consumers to save money on their gas and electricity bills. One of the measures announced is to encourage switching by people between suppliers to find the best, most suitable energy deal. To facilitate this happening the energy companies have agreed to give consumers access to their personal energy usage data in electronic format as…

Just come across the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee’s report on Government’s use of IT. Entitled “recipe for rip-offs: time for a new approach” it covers lots of things but one in particular struck my eye.

Here are its conclusions on the specific issue of Personal Data Ownership.

“Giving control of personal data to the individual has the potential to improve data quality while reducing both costs and risks. Individuals are used to controlling their own data with private sector companies, such as Amazon and with utility companies.
Moving to a model where the citizen maintains…

mydata: a progress update

Posted: 21st July, 2011 | 0 comments

The government’s mydata programme is gaining good momentum. This week members of the mydata Working Group, including large corporations from both energy and finance sectors and representatives from consumer groups and regulatory organisations, met for a workshop. Organisations from the telecoms and retail sectors meet next week.

First on the workshop agenda was the mydata Charter and principles for all participating organisations to sign up to. These were agreed in outline and will now be honed and finalised before being published in the autumn, with, hopefully, at least 20 companies signed up.  A formal announcement is planned for October when…

We are setting out to track the ‘control shift’ through a tracking survey that will, over time, provide evidence of which changes are unnfolding, where, at what pace, with what impacts and implications. Our initial research is now available and it sets a benchmark to track that progress.

The research is based on a GB representative sample of nearly 1500 consumers surveyed in April 2011. Fieldwork was conducted between 28 April and 5 May 2011, with 1464 adults responding.

After the raw data was collated (data tables are available), Ctrl-Shift analysed the data to draw its conclusions. The analysis looks…

The Ctrl-Shift Explorers' Club met on May 12 to share experiences and understanding of the changing consumer market place. It was an eclectic mix. Attendees included large corporations and small businesses; public and private sectors; different vertical markets; and suppliers of marketing services and the creators of some of the new tools available to consumers.

The event had plenty of time for discussion around a number of topics we've been researching including

The Government’s ‘mydata’ initiative - what the paper says, what the implications are, and what companies should do to take advantage of the hidden radicalism in this…

We're still progressing our thinking on how to provide the consumer side of the evidence of the control shift. Thanks to those who commented on the original (either on site or via email). We are now close to our final questions (see below). We're looking to get these out on a survey before Easter and reporting back at our Explorers' Club in May.

Our Questions:

Trend: information as a tool in the hands of the individual (decision-making)

1. When making a non-routine purchase, the first thing I do is seek out independent information…

I’ve just been reading the World Economic Forum’s report Personal Data: The Emergence of New Asset Class.


Here are some of the key points in the report.  First, it highlights the vast amounts of personal data that are now being generated and that this data (‘digital data created by and about people’) “is generating a new wave of opportunity for economic and societal value creation.”


It continues: “Increasing the control that individuals have over the manner in which their personal data is collected, managed and shared will spur a host of new services and applications. As some…

Reflections on data

Posted: 16th March, 2011 | 0 comments

Thanks to the DMA for an excellent conference on 16 March. We were speaking - more on that anon - but also being a delegate, it was a chance to listen. It seemed as though there are two audiences. First up are the marketers - who were interested in how they could better use data they already have. Second were the compliance officers, who seemed more interested in protecting their asset. There was some sense that the two groups have reached a concordat - what is that we can get away with yet stay on the right side of the…

Some of you may be vaguely following the flip-flopping of the incoming Government over the design and use of patient records. A couple of weeks ago was a seminal report on the "summary care record", described by the Health Service Journal as facing wicked problems.

The article is well worth a read:
The Department of Health-commissioned evaluation, by University College London researchers, says spread of the SCR is limited and, where it has been used, there is limited evidence of the benefits

The detailed evaluation comes to similar conclusions for HealthSpace – the government programme to…

Great day out at an event run by the helpful people at Telco2.0. The key issue under discussion were the future business models for the telco industry and one of the main themes was customer data.

The core of that discussion was that Telcos collect a lot of customer data and the issue was how that could be exploited?! Hmm not a great starting point. However the presentation from Phil Laidler, a Telco2.0 director and analyst, that followed certainly caused discussion. The presentation was based on a group discussion of about 40 people organised by Telco2.0 on…