This is a consumer issue on which a Labour government would take an active regulatory roleby Serena Kutchinsky / October 16, 2015 / Leave a comment
Scroll to the bottom to find a summary video of Prospect’s data events from the 2015 party conferences
The question of how consumer data can best be used as a force for economic good is rising up the political agenda. It was the subject of a lively and engaging debate at the Labour Party Conference hosted by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and Prospect on 29th September. Discussing the power of personal data and the best way that business can benefit from it were Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Culture & Digital Economy, David Evans, Director of Policy & Community at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Liz Coll, Digital Policy Manager at Citizens Advice Bureau. The debate was chaired by Serena Kutchinsky, Digital Editor of Prospect Magazine.
While the stories making the headlines around the world focus on the negative effects of big data—the malicious hacks and privacy scares such as the now notorious Ashley Madison attack—what’s less well known is the positive impact big data in its myriad forms can have on our professional and private lives. While surveys regularly indicate that two thirds of the population in the UK will share data if there is a perceived personal benefit, for example music-streaming services using profiles to suggest music, they are more wary about sharing personal data for more obviously commercial purposes.
“At the moment there is a general sense of unease,” said Liz Coll. “About 69 per cent of British consumers find it creepy the way organisations use our data… there is a sense of mistrust which is quite deeply rooted, but it’s complicated as it doesn’t stop consumers using those services… A more sensible conversation about what we want [from data services] is needed.”
The idea being put forward by David Evans was for a personal data store that would house consumer data pertaining to various aspects of people’s lives. He highlighted the need for consumers to feel in control of their data saying; “It’s really important not to see 50,000 privacy settings and mistake that for control.” Tech companies have a crucial role to play in helping the “derisking” of this process he continued, drawing a comparison with the way that banks have…