Amazon Prime Day - Paying for Personal Data

by Dina Abdelrazik | Jul. 19, 2019

Every year, Amazon hosts Prime Day, a one-day event of deals exclusive to Amazon Prime members. Heavy promotion of its own products, electronics in particular, are a common theme on Prime Day. This year, Amazon offered its Prime members a promotion that gave them a $10 coupon in exchange for tracking their data. The offer requires members to install Amazon Assistant, a browser tool that allows consumers to discover Amazon products and compare prices across other retailers on the web. This provides Amazon an unprecedented amount of data for little cost. The Amazon Assistant Privacy policy reports that the browser tool “collects and processes browsing information (URLs, search terms, search results, page metadata, and limited page content) from websites for which we may have relevant product or service recommendations.”

It is widely acknowledged that real value can be derived from the collection of data and the insights it brings. It is also widely acknowledged that that collection of data is owned by consumers, and that companies are simply stewards of the data. Given this reality, it is essential to understand consumers’ willingness to exchange data for services, their views on privacy and security, and the conditions under which they will grant access to their data. 

Data is now a form of currency, which consumers can exchange for services. The industry must understand how consumers value data and just as with any product or services offering, companies must offer a compelling solution in order to gain access to data. It will be interesting to see how many Prime members will opt into this for just $10. Parks Associates data finds that the majority of consumers prefer to keep tight control of their data.

Over 40% of consumers do not trust companies to keep their data safe; only 15% feel that they get a lot in return for sharing their data. This balance must be flipped. Consumers will be much more at ease with services and devices if they trust the companies that have access to their data and they believe they receive value in return.

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Tags: Amazon, privacy

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