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CMA seeks information on commercial use of consumer data

Consumer Data


  • Inviting consumers, businesses and academics to provide it with information on the commercial use of UK consumer data

Original Author: Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
Original Link:


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today issued a call for information as part of a wider project to understand fully how businesses collect and use consumer data – including how it affects consumers, businesses, competition and the wider economy.

Data is constantly being created by consumers – as they buy goods and services, as they browse websites and as they use their mobile devices. Collecting, combining and analysing this data has become an important activity for firms in many different sectors. The CMA is keen to understand more about the ways in which businesses collect and use data and the value of it both to businesses themselves and when sold or licensed for re-use by others. It will be looking at both the benefits and potential drawbacks that accompany this growing ability to understand consumer preferences, interests and behaviours. It will also consider the market impact of consumer protection legislation and other relevant regulations.

Alex Chisholm, CMA Chief Executive, said:

The ease and extent with which consumer data can be collected and analysed has increased hugely in recent years and will grow further with continuing technological developments.

We have witnessed a strong drive to gather our personal data by internet companies. This has a positive side, in that it helps us get access to new online services, to receive more targeted advertising and better tailored service offerings. But not everyone appreciates the collection of our personal data and observation of our online behaviour.

One of our priorities as a new authority is to take a closer look at developments and practices in growing areas such as this. We want to understand better the ways in which consumer data is used, as well as the consequences from this – beneficial or otherwise – for consumers, businesses and the wider economy, and how the CMA may promote competition in this area.

As an initial step, we want to get the views of all those involved – consumers, firms, representative groups and those who analyse and use the data.

Further details on the call for information are available on our webpage, including details of how to respond to the CMA, and contact details for those who want to submit specific information or research.