The intended and unintended consequences of paying with data

Rob Sumroy, Lucie van Gils, Cindy Knott and Bryony Bacon of Slaughter and May discuss the value and use of data and what this means for the regulation of digital and data services.

Never has the use of data had a bigger impact in our lives as consumers; from helping us decide where to eat based on our previous experiences and giving us tailored offers at our favourite supermarket, to being able to obtain a mortgage quote at the click of a few buttons and ensuring we have quick access to GPs.

Many companies that offer services based on the use of our personal data do so without requiring payment in the traditional sense. Indeed, we can navigate our way through the country, find out our credit score and stay in touch with our friends online without ever encountering a paywall. However, we are often sharing our personal data instead, sometimes more or less unwittingly. The monetary value of this exchange (for example in terms of the marketing opportunities our data presents) has long been acknowledged, but how to rectify this imbalance and somehow compensate or incentivise the individual is not as simple as it may initially appear. In this article we explore the intended and unintended consequences of “paying with personal data.”

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