Pop-up Discussion: What is Privacy Worth?

Categories : Blog


Author: Sarah Corley

We launched a new way for our community to discuss, share their thoughts and create industry best practice, called ‘The Pop-up Discussion’. These sessions will focus one topic and discuss various aspects over a maximum of a week. There is no set time commitment and it is not a course, but somewhere to discuss and share between peers. The first of these Pop-up Discussions was on 9-11 June on the topic What is Privacy Worth and was hosted by Ignacio Mas and Sarah Corley.

Privacy is hard to pin down to one definition or meaning. How we feel about our information and privacy also varies between contexts and purposes, which also affects our view on privacy. Privacy can be seen as a balancing scale, described well by participant, Benson Ntini. On the one side is “What I am giving up (asset of my identity)” and the other “What I receive in return (satisfaction from products and services)”

Every person has a view on privacy, we often feel that it is a developed world issue, but surveys from Ipsos[1] show that three quarters of the population are at least somewhat concerned about their online privacy, and that level concern is increasing. Privacy concerns are more likely to be held and expressed in the developing world than Europe.

From the online poll we ran on day one, 90% of us are very concerned or concerned about our privacy, and 93% reported this concern has increased over the last year. Being digital finance professionals perhaps it is to be expected that our awareness makes us more concerned about our online privacy.

One solution alone is unlikely to result in the changes we want to see to protect our privacy and information. On our live discussion on day two we identified the following five ideas:

  1. Develop good regulation that is appropriate for the country, culture, economy, and other legislation and not just a copy and paste of other country’s regulations such as GDPR
  2. Organisations should have privacy in their brand values and place more emphasis as it being the ethical thing to do, and to also ensure that they as part of the product and service design privacy is incorporated rather than being the sole responsibility of a siloed legal department
  3. Have ‘Customer Privacy Panels’ – where group can collectively have a voice on behalf of customers
  4. Allow us to share and sell our data and earn from it, giving us the decision to share and the rewards from doing so, a micropayment business model
  5. Have a third party fiduciary who acts on our behalf at the point where we need to give consent. When signing up to the fiduciary we tell them what information we are happy to share and under what context and conditions, and that fiduciary then assesses the organisation we are considering sharing our information with and tells us whether it meets our conditions

77% of participants voted for options 3, 4 and 5 – which is pleasing to see as ultimately these are the three options which give customers some control back and a voice to express their choices.

We recommend that you download the Findings from Pop-up Discussion: What is Privacy Worth to understand their implications and to explore further the recommendations to protect customer’s and our own privacy.


[1]2019 Survey of Internet Security and Trust https://www.ipsos.com/en/2019-cigi-ipsos-global-survey-internet-security-and-trust

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