Commercial use of Consumer Data

Many of the services that are available apparently ‘for free’, are in fact paid for by the data their users provide. Consumer data collected by businesses have become a key asset in the digital economy.

Understanding how businesses go about collecting consumer data and how they use it is important to asses how these practices affect consumers, businesses, competition and the wider economy.

As part of its wider project to understand the role played by consumer data, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) commissioned us to examine the commercial use of consumer data three sectors that together cover a variety of digital business models – motor insurance, clothing retail and gaming applications (apps).

The report summarising our findings is available here and can also be downloaded from the CMA’s website.