EOS survey shows that one in three consumers in Germany is willing to sell their data

  • Opportunity for companies: More than a third of respondents in favor of “compensation for data”
  • Just 23 percent have already been made an offer to disclose their data
  • Majority of Germans not aware of the value of their data

Hamburg, October 6, 2020 – In today's digital environment, data like bank account number, date of birth, address, health details or purchasing preferences have become a key economic asset. This is why increasingly certain questions about the value of data and how it is handled are becoming a matter of public debate. This has also been borne out by a recent representative survey entitled “What's the value of data?” conducted in 17 countries by financial services provider and investor EOS. The survey found that almost 60 percent of German consumers think that they should be compensated for the use of their data. The willingness of German consumers to sell their data is surprising: At 36 percent, Germans come in at slightly above the European average (34 percent) and are not as cautious as their reputation suggests. In the under-35 cohort, the figure even increases to almost half (46 percent). A good 22 percent have already taken up a “data for compensation” deal, which is also higher than the European average of 18 percent.

What’s the value of data? Infographic “Data for compensation”
Germans are especially cautious about their fitness data and contact details, but one in six is prepared to reveal data on their purchasing behaviors in return for payment.

Trust and type of data are crucial for disclosure

The willingness to share personal information with companies depends on consumer trust in how they handle the data, particularly when it comes to complying with statutory regulations. However, another relevant factor is the type of data involved. For example, according to the EOS survey around 60 percent of Germans would disclose personal information or data on purchasing decisions and preferences for products and brands in return for money. Interaction data or data on surfing behaviors are also seen as rather unproblematic (45 percent). However, account or credit card details, and insights into their bank account, are considered by a vast majority to be too sensitive to sell (less than 10 percent). When asked about their specific compensation preferences, around half of the respondents found material rewards and discounts particularly attractive, while there was less demand for privileged customer status (18 percent) and better services (13 percent).

What’s the value of data? Infographic “What compensation do Germans prefer in exchange for their data?”
What would you exchange your data for? Germans clearly prefer discounts and material rewards.

Data-based analyses and customized solutions

The survey makes clear that companies are often still not exploiting the potential of encouraging their customers to disclose information and then using this data effectively. A look at receivables management shows that this can be worthwhile. “We evaluate debt collection processes to constantly improve our services with the help of machine learning algorithms,” explains Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst: “In Germany in particular, the legal framework provides a sound foundation for an appropriate handling of data. With the help of a robust database, we determine the most efficient action to be taken next in the collection process. We see data as the fuel for analytical decisions, therefore it is a valuable resource. The better the data available, the better for all parties, because the defaulting payers also benefit from realistic payment plans.”

What’s the value of data? Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analytics & Data Governance at EOS Germany
Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst, adds: “Companies need to start being more transparent about compensation for data and how it is used. That means also pointing out the options for what a consumer can specifically get in return for providing data. This allows both sides to benefit.”

Lack of clarity about the value of data

The EOS survey revealed that only one in five Germans had been offered compensation to disclose certain details. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the specific monetary value of data. For example, 65 percent of Germans believe that most consumers are not aware of the monetary value of their data. Although 78 percent of respondents would sell their personal information to a trustworthy company, only around a half of them (47 percent) actually had a specific price in mind. For about 43 percent of them this was less than 50 euros, while another 20 percent specified a range of up to maximum 100 euros. However, 17 percent would be willing to disclose data for a sum of up to 500 euros, while one in five would even hold out for more than 500 euros as compensation.

What’s the value of data? Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst.
Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

“The uncertainty about the value of data affects all parties equally, whether consumers or companies,” says Stolze. “Everyone is familiar with the saying ‘data is gold’, but what does that actually mean? At EOS this resulted in a project where we defined what were the most valuable data fields for us and determined as specific a value for them as possible based on relevant parameters like risk avoidance or cost reduction. If as a company we quantify the value of data to us this can provide a basis for very sound decision-making. Because once you are aware of the value of data you treat it very carefully. It's a discussion that is set to continue over the next few years.”

About the representative EOS survey “What's the value of data?” 2020

The EOS survey, which was conducted in partnership with market research institute Kantar in the spring of 2020, is representative of the (online) population over the age of 18 in the 17 countries polled. A random sample of 1,000 respondents from each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and 300 respondents from North Macedonia, was used for the analysis. The survey participants answered questions on their personal handling and disclosure of data, their trust in companies and their willingness to sell data for compensation.

You can download other survey results and infographics, and a free white paper, here.

About EOS Group

The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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