Charities are being urged to partner with a new personal data app in order to benefit from both cash donations and data for research.
Citizenme, available for free on iOS and Android, offers users insights into their digital personality traits, along with the ability to be rewarded if they choose to share their opinions and information with brands and charities.
In a digitally enabled world, digital citizens create vast amounts of data everyday, but are unaware of what it means and of its commercial value. The Citizenme app integrates multiple sources of information to show users what their data means for them and allows them to be financially rewarded for taking part in market research and sharing information. They may also donate their information to charities for research.
Personal data is stored locally, on device, so neither Citizenme, nor any other organisations has access to it without explicit permission.
Developed in partnership with Cambridge University Psychometric Centre and the University of Sheffield Open Data Science Institute, the app initially offers citizens four types of value:
- Personal insights: With the user’s permission, social media profiles are analysed to offer views of how conscientious, extrovert, spontaneous etc., they are on different platform.
- Cash reward: Citizenme’s brand partners offer financial reward for anonymously participating in market research surveys and sharing of insight.
- Altruistic donations: Rather than taking part in market research for personal gain, users can anonymously donate their info and opinions to charities to help their research.
- Fun: The app also includes quizzes that users can take part in to see how their opinions compare to others.
While the mobile app is designed to give consumers greater understanding, control and value for their data, it also presents a number of benefits for organisations. Users are able to choose who they share their data with, providing businesses with far richer data, that can match businesses and customers in a more relevant way.
Citizenme partners are also able to conduct market research surveys – either of their own customer base or of the wider Citizenme population. This provides brands with an accelerated and far richer approach to focus groups, enabling them to get a true cross-section of the population, versus the old method of paying people 15 pence for every 30 minute survey.
StJohn Deakins, founder and CEO of Citizenme, said: “We’ve designed this service for the benefit of all digital citizens. We want to put them in control of their digital identities so they can understand more about how they are perceived online, and also gain real value from the increasing amounts of data that they are now generating, and on their terms.
“Businesses are making huge sums of money secretly harvesting personal data and re-selling it without the knowledge or consent of the data owner, and that has to change. Consumers are quickly catching on, as you can see that from the explosive growth of ad blocking. It’s time to turn the digital marketing model on its head and let consumers decide just what happens with their personal digital property – and who profits from it. Businesses and brands that understand this have a very real opportunity to empower their customers.
“The 21st century should not be about making humans more digital but about allowing data to help us become more human.”
The new app is free to download on iOS from the App Store and Play Store.
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