DMA welcomes BIS progress in pushing midata programme forward
22 Aug 2012: The direct marketing industry has welcomed today's update from the Government highlighting progress made on the latest proposals for the groundbreaking midata programme, which aims to give consumers access to their data.
The midata programme is a partnership between the UK government, consumer groups and major businesses aimed at giving consumers access to the data created through their household utility use, banking, internet transactions and high street loyalty cards.
The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) believes that allowing people to access and use this personal data has the potential to open up a wealth of opportunities for consumers and businesses, promoting growth across the wider economy and the government has repeatedly said that it is committed to putting the UK at the forefront of this rapidly developing market.
Commenting in response to the BIS' consultation on midata, Chris Combemale, Executive Director of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said: “We welcome BIS’s progress in pushing forward the midata programme. Companies must now take the initiative to be open and transparent with consumers about the information they hold and how they use it.
“According to research conducted by the DMA, 85% of consumers would prefer to hold their own personal data and exchange it with companies when they choose. Indeed, more and more consumers view their personal data as a form of capital to be collected and traded for better service, better offers and better long-term benefits.
“Companies that catch up with this new consumer trend will have to innovate and outdo their competitors to offer the most compelling benefits to consumers to encourage them to share their information. This form of competition-based self-regulation will be the most effective way of giving consumers greater control over their data.”
The government is currently consulting on introducing a power that, when exercised, would give new rights to consumers to access their personal transaction data in an electronic, portable and machine-readable format. The Direct Marketing Association will be making a submission to the consultation.
Consumer Minister, Norman Lamb said: “midata will allow consumers greater insight into their everyday consumption and lifestyle habits by using applications and intermediaries to analyse their actual behaviours and thereby empower them to make better spending choices and secure the best deals. This will boost competition between companies in terms of value and service, and stimulate innovation in new data management tools and systems.”
“We want the UK to be at the forefront of the data analytics and information services market that is rapidly growing with huge international potential. However, it’s crucial that we engage with business and consumers to ensure that we do this in the right way.”
The midata consultation explores the option of taking an order-making power to ensure government has the flexibility to act it believes that the voluntary approach proves too slow. The government is inviting responses from business, consumer groups, regulators and members of the public by 10 September 2012.
In July, the DMA published Putting a price on direct marketing, which revealed that UK companies spent £14.2bn on direct marketing in 2011. This is set to rise in 2012 by 7% to £15.2bn. The strongest investment growth will be seen in email, social media and SMS marketing.
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