back to article Privacy worth piffling pennies to polled punters

Consumers are prepared to pay more for goods in exchange for more privacy but the difference comes down to pennies rather than pounds. A lab study sponsored by ENISA, the European Union security agency, confronted participants with a choice of whether to buy identical goods from two online vendors, one of which offered a lower …


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  1. Ian Rogers
    Thumb Down

    Flawed study?

    I'm always happy to give an email address, or accept adverts by email, 'cos I just give a fake or add them to my spam list after the initial verification.

    My mobile phone number is a different matter as there's no spam filter yet.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Re: Flawed study?

      > My mobile phone number is a different matter

      But aren't these marketers just looking for *a* mobile number - one that fits the expected format: i.e. starts "07" (in the UK) and with the requisite number of digits?

      Extra points if you can ascertain the marketing firm MD's mobile number and plug that in.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Flawed study?

      Right up there with the who will give their password for Chocolate one they did a while back.

    3. Number6

      Re: Flawed study?

      I will happily make up a throwaway email address for verification and then dump it before the junk mail starts arriving. As for the phones, a cheap/old phone with a PAYG SIM is the answer to that.

      1. Intractable Potsherd
        Thumb Up

        Re: Flawed study?

        I have the Trashmail addon for Firefox. I haven't given a real e-mail to a marketing source for years.

  2. moiety

    People who ask me for stuff like that as a condition of sale lose my business. End of.

  3. DJ Smiley

    443 people.... strange number...

    Concidering its the port for SSL connections.....

    I smell a rat ;)

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    Bogus study?

    Of the people willing to give their private details, how many gave their real details, and how many just made up something?

  5. Fractured Cell

    As if I don't already have a complete fake persona for this kind of idiocy.

    Marketeers, say hello to Ivor Pseudonym. Hes honoured to make your acquantaince.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some countries (ie Spain), you practically have to provide your ID every time you want to buy something and if it's a big sale, they'll take a photocopy for their records (a photocopy that probably includes date and place of birth if you're not Spanish - in fact they probably have your bank card details and your personal details - we're just lucky they're not very internet savvy...). Mobile phone numbers are not a bother - just get another one if it's a problem or give a fake number - no-one will know the difference. So it wouldn't be that much information to provide for a discount.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And how many

    will take the 42p saving, then give bogus details? If some poor sod actually has a phone number of 01234567890 they are in for a thoroughly annoying time.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    And how many

    would have chosen not to purchase at all?

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Anyone think I am really called flock of crows?

    I would assume the 'privacy friendly' retailer was either lying or incompetent.

    1. Number6

      Re: Anyone think I am really called flock of crows?

      The retailer is privacy-friendly because the buyer is not asked for the information in the first place. If you don't give them the information then they can't use it in ways you don't want.

  10. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Again, that's not nessesarily the issue

    "Privacy" with DRM is just as bad as DRM itself. However, having no DRM includes privacy, and it is one of the points against DRM.

    The more interesting question would be, how much people would be willing to pay more for a DRM free copy. Considering how much time and effort I had to spend playing a Blu-Ray I'd have to say paying 50 Euro for a DRM-free copy would certainly be cheaper than having DRM and needing to circumvent it in order to play it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But the survey is flawed.

    For example.

    If i'm buying a DVD, I won't give out my mobile number.

    If I'm buying an oven and it's to be delivered by a courier, I will.

    If I'm doing a standard order I won't

    If I'm doing a custom made order, I will

    All a matter of context.

  12. druck


    A E0.50 discount, but what was the original price?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Online businesses can capitalise these concerns."

    I really doubt there's much in it without trust, and as we don't really know (specifically) what real world businesses do with our data, or exactly how mendacious that so-called "privacy" policy is, I suspect many are as unlikely to trust Grasping Shithead 'A' as they are Grasping Shithead 'B'. I personally never trust a word given on privacy, as its all too obvious that a) the language is evidently couched to mislead, b) there is little or no effective enforcement or intelligent regulation, c) there is zero political will to create such improved legislation or to ensure knuckles are broken when lines are crossed. All the dickheads in goverment care about is that the economy appears to grow, and if our private lives are fodder for that, so be it.

    Until there is some evidence privacy is taken seriously (NOT the ICO version of seriously), I'll treat them all as lying bastards in the same way as I distrust fluffy waffle badges like 'fair trade' and the 'rainforest alliance'.

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