Open Data Institute

Full qualitative and quantitative debrief

16th August 2017

Personal data in the UK retail sector

britainthinks.com

1

Contents

2

Introduction

The context

Food and grocery retailers’ data practices

GDPR

Responses to potential innovations

Key findings

01

02

03

04

05

06

01

Introduction

3

Objectives

As part of the ODI’s wider research programme looking into the opportunities created by GDPR BritainThinks was commissioned to conduct research to understand consumers’:

  • Views of current data practices
  • Awareness of and responses to upcoming changes
  • Hopes and expectations for the food retail sector in the light of upcoming changes
  • Reactions to potential innovations in the use of data about them in the food retail sector

4

Methodology

5

Early adopters

  • 8 x 18-35 year olds in Watford
  • 8 x 36-60 year olds in Manchester

Mainstream consumers

  • 8 x 18-35 year olds in Manchester
  • 8 x 36-60 year olds in Watford

Special interest groups

  • 2 x consumers aged 75+
  • 2 x previous victims of fraud
  • 2 x consumers living in rural areas

The research consisted of a qualitative phase to understand consumers’ starting point and language to describe this topic, followed by a quantitative survey to validate these findings across the general (online) population

1. Qualitative phase

Focus groups

Depth interviews

2. Quantitative phase

  • 10 minute online survey of 1,970 consumers
  • Weighted to be nationally representative of the the UK adult population aged 18+

Quantitative survey

NB That all data is either anonymised or at the aggregate level so can be considered ‘open’ and used in the public domain.

Key findings

6

1

The collection and use of data is not something that most consumers think about very often

  • Many people are using services which require them to share data without much thought or consideration about how their data is being used, stored and collected

2

This lack of engagement and understanding in day to day life means that many consumers feel uncomfortable or disempowered when they are confronted with details about data practices

  • This is often abstract or theoretical discomfort, and overstated when compared to consumers’ behaviour

3

There is significant variation in how consumers feel about data practices – with some feeling much more comfortable than others

  • This affects how comfortable individuals feel about potential innovations in data usage and following GDPR

4

For consumers to feel comfortable about the collection and use of data, it’s vital they feel a) informed and that they have given their active consent, and b) that they are receiving a clear benefit in exchange for sharing their data

Key findings

7

5

Food retailers are generally more trusted with data about individuals than other major sectors

  • This is because data usage feels more transparent to consumers in food retail than in many other sectors
  • And food retailers are seen to hold information that is less sensitive than other sectors

6

Awareness of GDPR is extremely low, but when prompted with information about upcoming changes to data protection and data practices, consumers tend to respond positively

  • Particularly any elements which they feel give them greater control over the collection and use of data about them

7

However, without practical, tangible examples, consumers struggle to understand how they would use the rights they will be given through the GDPR

  • Data portability in particular sounds good in theory, but hard to link up spontaneously to the practical benefits

8

Potential innovations to food retail which could arise from GDPR are positively received, and often expected from a sector which they tend to see as innovating in customers’ best interests

  • Consumers are most positive when the benefit of data exchange is clearly framed, and particularly when benefits relate to saving them money or time, giving them information, or providing a personalised service

02

The context

  • Upfront responses to current data practices
  • Differences in levels of comfort with current data practices
  • Requirements for feeling comfortable with current data practices

8

02

The context

  • Upfront responses to current data practices
  • Differences in levels of comfort with current data practices
  • Requirements for feeling comfortable with current data practices

9

The collection and use of data about individuals is not something that most people think about very often, if ever

  • Most people are not spontaneously concerned about the collection and use of personal data when they think about innovations in the retail sector
    • When discussing how grocery shopping has got worse (if at all) in the past 5-10 years, none of the qualitative participants raised increasing collection and use of data by food and grocery retailers
  • Most accept the collection and use of data about individuals as simply a ‘fact of life’
    • As increasing numbers of services (and organisations) across all sectors are seen to be collecting and using data, many feel there is no practical way to ’opt-out’

10

“It’s just the way the world is nowadays isn’t it?”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

“The one thing that’s got worse about shopping is the plastic bag charge.”

Mainstream consumer, 18-35, Manchester

Engagement with the role data plays in providing or funding services is low

  • During the qualitative phase of research we saw that, even though usage of data-dependent services is high, most had never thought about the role of data
    • Meaning many cited data-driven benefits they receive from certain services – but didn’t link these benefits to the collection and use of data about them

11

“[With online shopping] you never miss an offer because it tells you, whereas in store they don’t tell you at the checkout.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

Q.1 Which, if any, of the following products and services do you currently use? Please select all of the products and services which you use at least once in a typical month? Base: All respondents: 1970

Most consumers therefore have no frame of reference for thinking about current data practices

  • Whilst they are aware that data about them is being collected, there is little sense of the reasons why this is happening beyond ‘advertising’ or ‘marketing’
    • Few spontaneously link this to improvements in services they have experienced in recent years
  • Importantly, most feel it would be extremely difficult or even impossible for them to find out more
    • Data is perceived by most to be an incredibly complicated and technical topic
    • Which is compounded by a sense that companies and organisations deliberately hide information about how they collect data and what they use it for (e.g. making the Ts & Cs deliberately long and confusing)

12

Case study: Cameron*

“I don’t really think about it, like how they do it… It’s just something they do.”

Mainstream consumer, 18-35, Manchester

Cameron uses a number of products and services that are reliant on data, including his M&S loyalty card and Facebook, and he is broadly comfortable with current data practices. However, he rarely (if ever) thinks about the role of data in his life and the services he uses as it is ‘really complicated’ and something he can’t opt-out of.

This means that when confronted with detailed questions about data practices, many feel uncomfortable and give negative responses

  • Low levels of understanding of how data collection happens (and how it benefits them) mean many feel it is happening to them rather than benefiting them
    • This is reflected in many finding the terminology surrounding data collection and usage frightening and alienating – and therefore rejecting it
  • Qualitative participants also described a sense of disempowerment around data collection and usage
    • With most feeling there is nothing they can do about it
    • And that there is no practical way to withdraw from the elements of data collection and usage they are uncomfortable with

13

Q.4 On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is very comfortable, and 0 is not at all comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you are with third party organisations
having access to data about you? Base: All respondents: 1970

Q.6 On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is very comfortable, and 0 is not at all comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you are with data about you being collected each of these ways? Information being gathered actively, for example when you type in your address or give your date of birth when you create an account or use a service / Information being gathered passively, for example when you search for certain phrases online or when you purchase a product from an online retailer. Base: All respondents: 1970

However, it is important to note that while many consumers are uncomfortable about data collection and use, this doesn’t necessarily change their behaviour

14

“Life is too short to consistently read long terms and conditions when I sign up to a new service or if that service changes, even if that means that I might miss out some important information.”

64%

“I always read the terms and conditions when I sign up to a new service or if that service changes, even if it takes me a long time and interrupts what I want to do at the time.”

36%

vs

60%
of those who rate themselves as uncomfortable with current data practices* don’t always read the Ts & Cs

*i.e. rating their comfort as 0-4 on a 10 point scale

“I can get myself really annoyed about this but life’s too short to read all of that stuff.”

Early adopter, 18-35. Watford

Q.13 For the following pairs of statements please pick which fits your mind-set most closely. Don't worry if neither perfectly sum up your view, just select the one that comes closest. A: I always read the terms and conditions when I sign up to a new service or if that service changes even if it takes me a long time and interrupts what I want to do at the time. B. Life is too short to consistently read long terms and conditions when I sign up to a new service or if that service changes even if that means that I might miss out some important information. Base: All respondents: 1970

02

The context

  • Upfront responses to current data practices
  • Differences in levels of comfort with current data practices
  • Requirements for feeling comfortable with current data practices

15

There are significant variations in reported levels of comfort with data collection and usage amongst consumers

16

Comfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves as 7-10 comfortable with current data practices

Neutral about current data practices
Who rate themselves 4-6 comfortable with current data practices

Uncomfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves 0-3 comfortable with current data practices

Q.2 Companies and organisations often gather data about their customers in order to better understand their customers' needs, tailor the company's products and services,
and for marketing purposes. On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is not at all comfortable, and 10 is very comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you feel with data about you being collected in this way? Base: All respondents: 1970

Just over a third of consumers rate themselves as broadly comfortable with current data practices (34%)

  • They tend to be younger and a higher social grade
    • 41% of those aged 18-34 rate themselves as comfortable, compared to 26% of those aged 55+
    • 40% of ABs rate themselves as comfortable, compared to 28% of DEs
  • They are much more likely to be ‘early adopters’
    • 43% say they are generally amongst the first of their friends and family to try out new products, services and technology

17

Comfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves as 7-10 comfortable with current data practices

Neutral about current data practices
Who rate themselves 4-6 comfortable with current data practices

Uncomfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves 0-3 comfortable with current data practices

“I quite like them knowing what I like and what I want to buy. I don’t really care if they know it.”

Mainstream consumer, 18-35, Manchester

Just under two-fifths of consumers rate themselves as neutral about the collection and use of data (39%)

  • In general, this group’s make-up matches that of the general population

18

Comfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves as 7-10 comfortable with current data practices

Neutral about current data practices
Who rate themselves 4-6 comfortable with current data practices

Uncomfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves 0-3 comfortable with current data practices

“You know, maybe I’ve got a really bad attitude but I think ’I could be dead tomorrow, it doesn’t really matter.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

And just under a quarter rate themselves as actively uncomfortable (23%)

  • They tend to be older
    • Almost a third (32%) of those aged 55+ describe themselves as uncomfortable, compared to just 14% of those aged 18-34
  • They are much less likely to be an ‘early adopter’
    • Almost twice as many say that they wait for others to try new products, tech and services before using it (28%) compared to those who say they are amongst the first to use it (14%)

19

Comfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves as 7-10 comfortable with current data practices

Neutral about current data practices
Who rate themselves 4-6 comfortable with current data practices

Uncomfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves 0-3 comfortable with current data practices

“To me most of it is negative, it’s the Big Brother thing. They know your views. It’s an invasion of privacy.”

Mainstream consumer, 36-60, Watford

These varying levels of comfort affect how individuals feel about different facets of data collection and usage

20

Comfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves as 7-10 comfortable with current data practices

Neutral about current data practices
Who rate themselves 4-6 comfortable with current data practices

Uncomfortable with current data practices
Who rate themselves 0-3 comfortable with current data practices

  • Quantitatively, much more likely to:
    • Be comfortable with all facets of data collection and usage
    • Say that they are likely to use the right to data portability
    • Feel potential innovations are beneficial and be comfortable with them
  • Qualitatively, were much more likely to be able to think of ways data collection already benefits them, and ways it could benefit them in the future
  • Quantitatively, most likely to match the general public’s views on current and potential data practices
  • Qualitatively, were able to think of ways in which data collection already benefits them, but struggled to think of ways it could benefit them in the future
  • Quantitatively, much more likely to:
    • Be uncomfortable with all facets of data collection and usage
    • Say that they are likely to use the right to data access
    • Feel potential innovations are not beneficial and to feel uncomfortable about them
  • Qualitatively, were much more likely to struggle to think of ways in which data collection benefits them currently and ways it could benefit them in the future

02

The context

  • Upfront responses to current data practices
  • Differences in levels of comfort with current data practices
  • Requirements for feeling comfortable with current data practices

21

There are two key factors that are necessary for consumers to feel (more) comfortable about data collection and use

22

1

Feeling that they have given informed consent for data collection and use

Feeling that there is a clear benefit to them of sharing their data

2

Feeling they have given informed consent for data collection and use

  • Currently consumers tend to feel that information is deliberately ‘hidden’ from them
    • Either through being written in impenetrable ‘legalese’ or in the middle of overly long terms and conditions
  • And that they therefore have no option to opt-out of data collection and usage
  • Consumers feel much less negatively towards services that are ‘opt-in’
    • As this means they can simply avoid them if they are uncomfortable with them

23

“They should make terms and conditions much shorter and much more to the point.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

Q.18 What, if anything, makes you feel more comfortable with data about you being collected by companies and organisations? Base: All respondents: 1970

1

Feeling there is a clear benefit to them of sharing their data

54%
of those who rate themselves as comfortable with current data practices feel more comfortable sharing data if they will save money as a result of this

24

  • Qualitative participants consistently said that they would only be comfortable sharing their information with a company or organisation if they got a clear benefit from it themselves
    • Spontaneously, saving money, saving time, receiving useful information or a personalised service were raised as potential benefits that could potentially interest them

“I wouldn’t mind them knowing if I had an allergy if that could save my life!”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

Q.18 What, if anything, makes you feel more comfortable with data about you being collected by companies and organisations? Base: All respondents: 1970

2

03

Food and grocery retailers’ data practices

  • Food and grocery retailers
  • Third party organisations

25

03

Food and grocery retailers’ data practices

  • Food and grocery retailers
  • Third party organisations

26

Spontaneously, food and grocery retail is one of the more trusted sectors with personal data

27

Q.3 Below are a number of different types of companies and organisations. Again, on a scale of 0-10, where 0 is not at all comfortable, and 10 is very comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you are with each of these types of companies and organisations holding data about you? Base: All respondents, 1970

71%
of those who rate themselves as comfortable with current data practices are comfortable with food and grocery retailers holding data about them

Underlying this belief is a clear understanding of how and why data is collected by food retailers, and how it benefits the customer

  • The link between the collection of data about individuals by food and grocery retailers, and benefit to consumers, is clearly understood
    • Personalised discounts are raised by 65% of those who use supermarket loyalty cards as a benefit they receive from them
  • And qualitative participants across the board (including the elderly) spontaneously raised personalisation of services as one of the ways their grocery shopping experience has improved in recent years
    • As well as stores being able to ensure they have popular products in their area in stock

28

Q.9 What benefits, if any, do you feel you get from using a supermarket loyalty card or loyalty scheme? Please select as many as apply to you. Base: All respondents who use supermarket loyalty cards or schemes , 1544

Consumers also think about a wider context in which technological change in the sector has benefited the customer

29

Online shopping

New payment systems

Price comparison services

  • Individuals expect food and grocery retailers to continue to use technological advances to benefit the customer
  • Using data to improve customers’ experience is something which sits underneath this expectation
    • However, it may be best to position these developments in line with online shopping, new payment systems and price comparison services (i.e. things which consumers feel that they broadly understand), rather than related to changes in data practices (which consumers don’t tend to feel that they understand)

Finally, the data which food and grocery retailers are seen to hold is often viewed as ‘less sensitive’ than other sectors

  • When qualitative participants ranked the various sectors according to how much they would trust them with data about themselves, many talked about how sensitive each sector holds is
    • For example, insurers hold data which is seen to be very sensitive (i.e. relating to personal finances, health, credit history, etc.)
  • In this context, the data which food and grocery retailers hold is seen as less sensitive – and the consequences of it ‘getting into the wrong hands’ are far less severe
    • Meaning participants were less concerned about it being collected in the first instance

30

“We can trust them [food and grocery retailers] because the data they hold is so inconsequential.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

“What could they [food and grocery retailers] do with my age that would be that damaging?”

Mainstream consumer, 36-60, Watford

This leads to relatively high levels of trust in food and grocery retailers to hold some types of sensitive information

31

Q.7 Thinking about food and grocery retailers specifically... Which of the following types of information do you feel more and less comfortable with sharing with a food or grocery retailer? Please drag each type of information into the most appropriate box. Base: All respondents, 1970

Although there are still low levels of comfort with them having access to ‘more personal’ kinds of information

32

Q.7 Thinking about food and grocery retailers specifically... Which of the following types of information do you feel more and less comfortable with sharing with a food or grocery retailer? Please drag each type of information into the most appropriate box. Base: All respondents, 1970

Consumers also often struggled to see the relevance of these types of information to food retail, adding to levels of discomfort

However, a majority of those who rate themselves as comfortable with current data practices overall trust food and grocery retailers with some of these ‘more personal’ kinds of data

33

Q.7 Thinking about food and grocery retailers specifically... Which of the following types of information do you feel more and less comfortable with sharing with a food or grocery retailer? Please drag each type of information into the most appropriate box. Base: All respondents, 1970

03

Food and grocery retailers’ data practices

  • Food and grocery retailers
  • Third party organisations

34

Third party organisations are generally distrusted by consumers at face value

  • Just over three fifths (62%) of the population describe themselves as being uncomfortable with third party organisations having access to their personal data
  • Much of this discomfort relates to poor levels of understanding about who third party organisations are, and a perceived lack of control over which third party organisations have access to their data
    • The little consumers feel that they do know about third party organisations is that they often constitute marketing agencies who might try to cold call or bombard them with ‘spam’

35

Q.4 On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is very comfortable, and 0 is not at all comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you are with third party organisations
having access to data about you? Base: All respondents: 1970

Those who are uncomfortable with current data practices overall are almost unanimously uncomfortable with third party organisations

36

Case study: Sandy*

“How can you trust them [third party organisations]? You don’t even know who they are.”

Mainstream consumer, 75+

Sandy feels current data practices are like ‘Big Brother’. She feels that she hasn’t given permission to third party organisations to have access to her data and feels they are, primarily, using it to send her spam emails.

Q.4 On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is very comfortable, and 0 is not at all comfortable, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you say that you are with third party organisations
having access to data about you? Base: All respondents: 1970

Perceived loss of control is a crucial reason why many are uncomfortable with third party organisations accessing their data

37

“It’s all about choice. I didn’t choose for them to have access my data.”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

Q.5 You said that you feel uncomfortable about third party organisations having access to data about you. In a few words or a short sentence, can you explain why you feel this way? Base: All respondents who score 0-4 at Q4: 1260

As is a lack of understanding of what is happening with this data

38

“I have a problem with third parties, who are they?”

Mainstream consumer, 36-60, Watford

Q.5 You said that you feel uncomfortable about third party organisations having access to data about you. In a few words or a short sentence, can you explain why you feel this way? Base: All respondents who score 0-4 at Q4: 1260

However, when given information about who a third party organisation is and what they are doing with data, discomfort tends to decrease

  • During the qualitative phase of research we saw high levels of discomfort with third party organisations in principle
  • But these issues were often forgotten when tested in the context of potential innovations, where the identity of the organisation and how they are using data is clearly understood
    • Especially when it is made clear that an organisation is not selling or sharing information or using it to send unsolicited communications
  • Qualitative participants felt that, on this basis, they could make ‘informed’ choices about sharing their data

39

Case study: Geoff*

“They [third party organisations] pass on your data don’t they?”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

Spontaneously, when discussing third party organisations Geoff was very uncomfortable with them, and felt they would sell on his information. However, when shown them in context of potential innovations he was very comfortable with them, and felt he could make a choice about whether to use them or not.

04

GDPR

40

Awareness of upcoming changes to regulation are low, even amongst those who are aware of the Data Protection Act

  • Awareness of any data protection regulation was low amongst qualitative research participants
    • The only people who are aware of the DPA are those who have come into contact with it through their work
  • And there was no awareness of GDPR (or any upcoming changes to data protection legislation)

41

Case study: Moira*

“I’ve never heard about these new rules. I’m guessing work will tell me nearer the time.”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

Moira works in social care and has to handle sensitive personal data. Because of this she uses the data protection act in her day-to-day work. However, despite this Moira had never heard of the GDPR prior to the focus group.

When prompted with information about GDPR, consumers are broadly supportive of it

  • Qualitative research participants were supportive of increasing responsibilities for companies and organisations and giving individuals greater rights
  • And felt that GDPR (in principle) addresses their key concerns about current data practices
    • Specifically, making information easier to read and understand and requiring active, unambiguous consent from individuals were well received

42

“It makes you feel confident, just that the regulation is changing and being updated.”

Mainstream consumer, 18-35, Manchester

“It gives you more control over your data.”

Mainstream consumer, Rural

The right to data access is seen to give control back to individuals over data about them

  • The right to data access is seen to give individuals more information about what companies and organisations ‘know’ about them
    • And therefore give them more ‘control’ over their data
  • Almost half (45%) of people say they are likely to use the right to data access
    • Although qualitative participants did find it difficult to understand how they would use this right in practice

43

55%
of those who are uncomfortable with current data practices say they are likely to use the right to data access

Q.14 In May 2018, new legislation regarding the collection and use of personal data will come into place. One of the new rights it will give consumers is the 'right to data access'.
This will enable consumers to request all the data a company or organisation holds about them, for free. The company or organisation will be legally required to provide this information within a month. Thinking about data about you and the companies and organisations which might hold this data, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that you personally will use this right? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

The right to data portability is also viewed positively, although comprehension is lower than for the right to data access

  • Whilst the right to data portability is also seen to give individuals more control over their data, it is less clearly understood why an individual would use this right
    • This is partially due to many assuming a default position that they want to prevent their data being shared, rather than choosing to share it themselves
  • There are therefore smaller proportions of consumers who anticipate using this right, with just 25% saying they are likely to do so

44

32%
of those who are comfortable with current data practices say they are likely to use the right to data portability

Q.15 Another new right this legislation will give consumers is called the 'right to data portability'. This will enable consumers to request that a company or organisation share all the
information they have about them with another company or organisation. Organisations will be legally required to share this data with consumers in a form the consumer can use themselves, or, where possible, they can share it directly with the selected organisation. Thinking about data about you and the companies and organisations which might hold this data, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that you personally will use this right? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

Understanding of how both the right to data access and the right to data portability will work in practice is low

  • Qualitative research participants struggled to understand how the rights to data access and data portability would work in practice
    • Most felt that companies and organisations would not want to make it easy for individuals to use these rights and would therefore make it hard for ‘ordinary people’ to know how to use them
  • Some also questioned whether these rights would cover information that companies and organisations ‘infer’ about individuals
    • For example, if a customer of a shop regularly bought kosher products they felt a supermarket may infer they were Jewish – but few felt that this would be something they would have to give an individual access to

BritainThinks | Private and Confidential

45

“You read it and are like ’this is great’, but would you actually do it?”

Mainstream consumer, 18-35, Manchester

“They can work out your Jewish if you keep on buying kosher products. Would they have to tell you they worked that out about you?”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

05

Responses to potential innovations

46

Responses to the potential innovations that could arise as a result of GDPR are generally positive

  • Qualitative participants were broadly supportive of almost all the products and services we tested
    • Few pushed back, on principle, to any of the products or services, with negative feedback limited to “it wouldn’t benefit me personally”
  • Crucially, these innovations were viewed positively as ‘opt-in’ services
    • Meaning that if you are uncomfortable about them you don’t have to use them

47

“It’s choice isn’t it? That’s the key thing. If I don’t want it I just don’t get it, so I’m fine with this.”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

“I’m comfortable with it because I’m volunteering my information.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

Comfort with a new service or product and the perceived benefit it offers are closely linked

  • Whilst consumers express high levels of discomfort with a number of different facets of data collection and use, in practice these concerns are not strong predictors of comfort with a particular product or service
    • Indicating that, potentially, discomfort with these factors is primarily due to the terminology surrounding data collection and use, rather than its actual practical application
  • Conversely, the perceived benefit a product or service offers is a much better predictor
    • In essence, if a product offers a significant enough benefit people will be happy to share their data in return for it

BritainThinks | Private and Confidential

48

“I don’t love the idea of sharing medical information, but it [the potential innovation] is so beneficial that it’s worth it, it overrides it.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

Q.16 Individuals' experiences of food and grocery shopping could change in a number of ways due to advances in technology and the new regulation previously described. You are about to see a number of examples of the kinds of services that could emerge as a result of these changes. For each, please rate:
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very beneficial and 0 is not at all beneficial) how beneficial or otherwise would this service be to you personally? On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very comfortable and 0 is not at all comfortable) how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel about using this service? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

Services which save individuals money or give them more control over their data, are seen as beneficial by the majority of consumers

49

Q.16 Individuals' experiences of food and grocery shopping could change in a number of ways due to advances in technology and the new regulation previously described. You are about to see a number of examples of the kinds of services that could emerge as a result of these changes. For each, please rate:
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very beneficial and 0 is not at all beneficial) how beneficial or otherwise would this service be to you personally? On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very comfortable and 0 is not at all comfortable) how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel about using this service? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

But significant minorities feel that more niche products would be beneficial to someone like them

50

Q.16 Individuals' experiences of food and grocery shopping could change in a number of ways due to advances in technology and the new regulation previously described. You are about to see a number of examples of the kinds of services that could emerge as a result of these changes. For each, please rate:
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very beneficial and 0 is not at all beneficial) how beneficial or otherwise would this service be to you personally? On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very comfortable and 0 is not at all comfortable) how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel about using this service? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

Those who are comfortable with current data practices overall are significantly more likely to see potential innovations as beneficial

51

“That’s so beneficial. So many people struggle to stay healthy.”

Early adopter, 18-35, Watford

“I wouldn’t look for solutions in that way.”

Mainstream consumer, 36-60, Watford

Q.16 Individuals' experiences of food and grocery shopping could change in a number of ways due to advances in technology and the new regulation previously described. You are about to see a number of examples of the kinds of services that could emerge as a result of these changes. For each, please rate:
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very beneficial and 0 is not at all beneficial) how beneficial or otherwise would this service be to you personally? On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very comfortable and 0 is not at all comfortable) how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel about using this service? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

And are much more likely to say they are comfortable with these uses of data about them

52

“If you made that choice to share the information then I’d be comfortable with it.”

Early adopter, 36-60, Manchester

“I wouldn’t want anyone other than my doctor knowing about my health.”

Mainstream consumer, Victim of fraud

Q.16 Individuals' experiences of food and grocery shopping could change in a number of ways due to advances in technology and the new regulation previously described. You are about to see a number of examples of the kinds of services that could emerge as a result of these changes. For each, please rate:
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very beneficial and 0 is not at all beneficial) how beneficial or otherwise would this service be to you personally? On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is very comfortable and 0 is not at all comfortable) how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel about using this service? Base: All respondents who shop at least once a fortnight: 1970

06

Key findings

53

Recap of key findings

54

1

The collection and use of data is not something that most consumers think about very often

  • Many people are using services which require them to share data without much thought or consideration about how their data is being used, stored and collected

2

This lack of engagement and understanding in day to day life means that many consumers feel uncomfortable or disempowered when they are confronted with details about data practices

  • This is often abstract or theoretical discomfort, and overstated when compared to consumers’ behaviour

3

There is significant variation in how consumers feel about data practices – with some feeling much more comfortable than others

  • This affects how comfortable individuals feel about potential innovations in data usage and following GDPR

4

For consumers to feel comfortable about the collection and use of data, it’s vital they feel a) informed and that they have given their active consent, and b) that they are receiving a clear benefit in exchange for sharing their data

Recap of key findings

55

5

Food retailers are generally more trusted with data about individuals than other major sectors

  • This is because data usage feels more transparent to consumers in food retail than in many other sectors
  • And food retailers are seen to hold information that is less sensitive than other sectors

6

Awareness of GDPR is extremely low, but when prompted with information about upcoming changes to data protection and data practices, consumers tend to respond positively

  • Particularly any elements which they feel give them greater control over the collection and use of data about them

7

However, without practical, tangible examples, consumers struggle to understand how they would use the rights they will be given through the GDPR

  • Data portability in particular sounds good in theory, but hard to link up spontaneously to the practical benefits

8

Potential innovations to food retail which could arise from GDPR are positively received, and often expected from a sector which they tend to see as innovating in customers’ best interests

  • Consumers are most positive when the benefit of data exchange is clearly framed, and particularly when benefits relate to saving them money or time, giving them information, or providing a personalised service
#OPEN - Open Data Institute - Britain Thinks Retail Research - 2017-11-30 - Google Slides