Jun 19, 2013

Prices and Value of Consumer Data

The topic of personal data has interested me for a number of years because it is at the heart of new approaches to marketing and service development based on connected devices. I have written about the commercial potential of personal data from a business model perspective [1] for the GSM Association and introduced the concept of Stewardship and Platform Innovator strategies for companies in the mobile eco-system.

I was therefore pleased to see the Financial Times (FT) publish a series of articles on consumer data. Accompanying this series is an interactive calculator [2] that allows readers to determine a price for their personal data based on pricing benchmarks supplied by a data broker. After filling in the options for my own profile - in terms of demographics, family and health, property, activities of interest, and consumer behaviors - it appears that the price for my personal profile is about US$0.80.

Jun 13, 2013

2G or not 2G?

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, AT&T announced a plan to shut down its 2G network by 2017. This event formally confirms the fact that companies need to plan their connected device offerings on the basis of (more expensive) 3G modules (although it should be noted that AT&T had already adopted a '3G only' modules strategy for quite some time).

Several M2M service providers, including Aeris, Sprint and RACO Wireless, subsequently highlighted their commitment to existing, second generation networks and the M2M applications these are able to support. In essence, connected-device companies were being asked “why should they employ more costly 3G modules when (low data rate) M2M applications can be implemented with far less expensive 2G modules?”

Jun 4, 2013

Developing IoT Privacy as a Value Proposition

Companies offering services based on connected devices will increasingly have access to significant amounts of highly granular data about consumers and their connected devices. This trend is heightening privacy-related concerns about the way that such data might be used and the potential for consumers to be harmed.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s recently launched an inquiry into privacy and security implications of the Internet of Things. In the commentary below, I outline my views of the key issues from a business perspective. One key consideration is to demonstrate the economic value that companies are currently capturing by combining consumer data from multiple sources.

I also highlight the fact that there will be beneficial as well as harmful uses of private data. While consumers should be protected against harmful scenarios, policy makers and business organizations that have an interest in the long-term viability of the IoT market also need to ensure that consumers are not ruthlessly exploited under apparently beneficial situations. Through this perspective, concepts of trust and stewardship related to the use of private data can be developed into new and appealing value propositions.