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The Average Consumer Thinks Data Privacy Is Worth Around 65 Cents 128

chicksdaddy writes "Threatpost is reporting today on the findings of an ENISA study that looked at whether consumers would pay more for goods in exchange for more privacy. The answer — 'Sure...just not much more.' The report (PDF): 'Study on Monetizing Privacy: An Economic Model for Pricing Personal Information' presents the findings of a laboratory study in which consumers were asked to buy identical goods from two online vendors: one that collected minimal customer information and another that required the customer to surrender more of their personal information to purchase the item, including phone number and a government ID number. The laboratory experiment showed that the majority of consumers value privacy protections. When the prices of the goods offered by both the privacy protecting and the privacy violating online retailers were equal, shoppers much preferred the privacy protecting vendor. But the preference for more privacy wasn't very strong, and didn't come close to equaling consumers' preference for lower prices. In fact, consumers readily switched to a more privacy-invasive provider if that provider charged a lower price for the same goods. How much lower? Not much, researchers discovered. A discount of just E0.50 ($0.65) was enough to sway consumers away from a vendor who would protect the privacy of their personal data."
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The Average Consumer Thinks Data Privacy Is Worth Around 65 Cents

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  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:03PM (#39356239) Journal
    Were they really measuring how much customers were willing to pay to avoid having this information stored, or were they measuring how much they were willing to pay to avoid having to type it all in? TFA seems slashdotted at the moment, so I can't tell if this is answered, but if you're buying something online then you already need to provide delivery address and credit card details, so there isn't much extra privacy you can get. Not having to type in a load of information is worth a small amount, but it only takes a minute, so not very much.
  • $.065...sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jomama717 ( 779243 ) <> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:05PM (#39356261) Journal
    Not usually a nitpicker but COME ONE!
  • In their defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:05PM (#39356263)

    The personal data of anyone participating in some random survey is probably pretty useless. Good luck getting a credit card on the credit score of someone willing to show up to some strange lab on the promise of a $10 payment and a free soda.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:05PM (#39356265)

    But are the consumers being properly informed about the ramifications of the vendor having that information? What are they using it for? Can they be trusted to only use it for that and not re-sell it? Really? Come on be honest.

    I think this study says more about the illiteracy we have with what "privacy" means and our tendency to trust authority-looking-figures when they say they need information from us. I don't think it's accurate to interpret complacency with rational economic valuation.

  • Depends... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:08PM (#39356299)

    65cents under one scenario- beyond that, surely it is all dependant on how invasive they are; what the product is; how much it is to begin with.

    If you're talking about a new 50inch 3d smart-TV. 65cents is nothing. If you're talking about a $1 photo order- 65cents is over half the order.

    It would also depend on how the privacy being invaded- are they just keeping a log of everything you buy- selling your information to third parties- posting what you buy to facebook.

    Also- how much do the "privacy sensitive" companies really respect your privacy? How much do you trust them. I don't trust anyone online- I just assume everyone is going to share what I give them. Sad... but that's the truth.

    How much does Privacy matter to me? Well- I refuse to shop at Tiger Direct ever since they asked me for my Soc Sec Nbr. Simply none of their business. Will never go back to them no matter how cheap they are- there is no legitimate reason they should have asked for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:22PM (#39356475)

    A lot of it is that people for a long time didn't care about if a shop had a lot of info about them. However, with the fact that one can be denied a job, and scored on how employable they are due to their private writings, people are wising up to the fact that knowledge is power, and that clicking the "like" when someone shares a joke about "press 1 for English" can mean no job for seven years, that privacy might be useful.

    It may be too late for most people though.

  • by DarwinSurvivor ( 1752106 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @09:01PM (#39359789)
    I find it interesting how you are in no way concerned about identity thieves, credit card scammers, etc.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.