EOS survey “What's the value of data?”

Data is the new currency worldwide

Representative survey on data and its value in Europe, Russia and the USA.

Digital data have become a key economic asset. Companies collect, analyze and interpret data to optimize their business models. This is why the responsible handling of such data, and an appreciation of how valuable it is, are increasingly a topic of public debate: How do consumers feel about the disclosure of data and its value? Are they willing to sell personal information? And how do companies win the trust of consumers for the use of their data?

The representative international survey conducted by the EOS Group on the subject “What’s the value of data?” provides answers to these questions. The online poll was conducted in 17 countries in the spring of 2020 by Kantar, one of the world's leading market research institutes.

About the survey “What's the value of data?”

  • New EOS survey on the topic “What’s the value of data?”


    1,000 respondents from each country over the age of 18.

  • New EOS survey on the topic “What’s the value of data?”


    15 countries in Europe plus the USA and Russia

  • New EOS survey on the topic “What’s the value of data?”


    Online poll using standardized questionnaire.

Data as currency 

Are data the new gold?

Every day we disclose a wealth of personal data: contact and personal details, information on our purchasing habits, account data or facts about our health. This data helps companies to better understand customers and their preferences and to respond to market trends, which is what makes it so valuable. According to the survey, the majority of respondents believe that they should be compensated for the use of their data. When asked about specific types of data, many respondents stated that they would even be prepared to sell certain kinds of data to trustworthy companies – but within limits. 

Key results

  • A third of respondents would disclose their own data for a specific recompense. In Russia this applied to as many as 50 percent.

  • Material rewards or discounts were the most popular forms of compensation, while services or status benefits ranked lowest.

  • Insights into bank accounts or account/credit card details are pretty much not for sale (less than 1 in 10).

Across all countries, the majority of consumers were in favor of receiving compensation to make their own data available to companies. The responses to the question of who had already taken up a “data for compensation” deal revealed differences between the various countries. The respondents expect companies to handle their personal information responsibly. If companies do this then there is often a good chance of a deal.

EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?

Great opportunities for companies to buy data

One in three consumers in Europe and the USA would enter into a “data for compensation” deal. In Russia this applied to as many as one in two. This figure increases significantly when it comes to the specific scenario of selling at least one item of personal information for money. 82 percent of Europeans, 75 percent of Americans and 90 percent of Russians said they were prepared to do this, but only on condition that the company processing the data is trustworthy.
Data on purchasing decisions or contact information are the most likely to be sold. In the case of health and fitness data, the willingness to sell starts to decline somewhat, while any disclosure of account and credit card data is seen as particularly critical. What is surprising is that in all the countries surveyed the sensitivity of various categories of data was ranked in a very similar way. However, when asked about whether they had already entered into a “data for compensation” deal, greater differences emerged between respondents from different countries.

Respondents already entered into a “data for compensation“ deal.

Where are data deals already taking place?

Across all countries, around one in six consumers has already entered into a deal to share their data with a company for compensation. But there are definitely differences between countries: Consumers in Spain (26%) and Romania (24%) are more likely to participate in these kinds of arrangements, while deals like these still tend to be rejected in South-East European countries such as Slovenia (10%) or North Macedonia (7%).

What is interesting is that in some cases, the willingness of consumers to sell their data (one in three) actually exceeds the demand for it by companies, because to date, only around one in five consumers has been offered compensation for data. This means that there are good opportunities for companies to do business with consumers for their data, provided they can win their trust.

  • Smartphone user in city: Data has become a key economic asset.

    Will the digital life of European citizens soon be like in China?

    Find out more about the comprehensive findings of the EOS survey and what happens when personal data becomes an own currency.

    Read the related article

Digital trust as a challenge

Companies in a tight spot

The survey shows that consumers are basically willing to disclose personal data to trustworthy companies. And this is precisely where companies still have work to do, because many people do not trust them to handle their personal information responsibly. The greatest challenge for companies will therefore be to break down this mistrust through an appropriate and transparent use of data.

  • Consumers have little digital trust.


    Despite a general willingness, many consumers are still skeptical when it comes to sharing their data online. In Europe only 33 percent believe that companies handle their digital data responsibly. In the USA the figure is only 23 percent, while in Russia it is nonetheless 41 percent.

  • The skepticism towards companies is also characterized by uncertainty.

    Lack of knowledge

    This skepticism is also characterized by uncertainty. The majority of consumers do not know how to limit the unwanted use of their data (Europe: 58%, USA: 62%, Russia: 66%). One way of leaving as few traces as possible in the internet is to block tracking cookies. However, only one in three internet users in Europe and Russia makes use of this option.

Trust ranking by sector

Apart from the uncertainty about how to systematically prevent the sharing of their data, the survey showed that the majority of users often feel compelled to disclose their details (Europe: 66%, USA 58%, Russia 81%). The fact that certain services can only be used in full by providing a lot of data reinforces the lack of trust in companies and explains the general skepticism that prevails.

EOS data survey: What’s the value of data?

There are also some sectors that have a clear edge when it comes to digital trust: Leading the field are banks (Europe: 54%, USA: 56%, Russia: 54%) and online payment providers (Europe: 46%, USA: 46%, Russia: 58%). Energy utilities also do relatively well (Europe: 39%, USA: 38%, Russia: 34%). The losers on the trust scale for digital data are telecommunications companies, online retailers, and right at the bottom, social media networks and messaging services (Europe: 14%, USA: 11%, Russia: 18%). There is still unexploited potential in these sectors in particular, and it remains to be seen which strategies these companies will employ to respond appropriately to the mistrust exhibited by their customers.

  • Businessman looking away: Consumers do not have a lot of digital trust

    What the US elections have to do with the digital confidence of Europeans.

    Do we still have a choice in the disclosure of our data? Find out where action is needed – for businesses and consumers.

    Read the related article

Conclusion: The digital environment as a leveler

Data are already a valuable asset and handling them properly is becoming increasingly important. The survey makes clear that consumers want to be compensated for disclosing their data and have clear ideas about which data they would or wouldn't sell to certain companies. The pressure to act to optimize this important business with data is therefore increasing in almost all sectors. The greatest challenge is to respond to the skepticism of consumers in an appropriate way, with respect and transparency, and in doing so win their digital trust. What is surprising is that across all countries there are hardly any differences with regard to both the level of trust and to people’s experiences and attitudes. Whether they reside in Europe, the USA or Russia, anyone active on the internet and using online services will find almost the same conditions wherever they are.
So it is up to the companies processing the data worldwide to introduce appropriate measures and invest in digital trust.

Free white paper
“What's the value of data?”

share this

Selection of other articles on the topic “What’s the value of data?”

Stiahnutie bielej knihy Stiahnutie bielej knihy

Cookie Settings

We use cookies on our website to enable you to have the best possible website visit. These include cookies that are necessary for the operation of the website, those that are only used for anonymous statistical purposes, cookies that are used for comfort settings and cookies that are used to provide you with personalized, interest-based content. You can decide yourself whether you want to allow the use of statistics, comfort, and marketing cookies. In addition, you can change/withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on the Change Cookies settings on the bottom of the website. Further information can be found in our Privacy Policy.


We use necessary cookies. These cookies are necessary for the operation and the basic functions of the website. In particular, they enable the security-relevant functioning of our website.
You can read about which cookies we use here.


If you allow comfort cookies, we can make use of our site easier for you. If you visit our website again to use our services, it will automatically be recognized that you already visited us and the entries and settings you made will automatically be recognized so that you do not have to enter them again. For example, through this, you will not have to reenter your user data every time, but rather you can access the data already entered when you visit the website again.
You can read about which cookies we use here


We use statistical cookies to improve our offering and ensure a needs-based design and the continuous optimization of our website. 
For this, we collect anonymized data for statistics and analytics, for example, to determine site traffic and user behavior and to adapt and improve our content and the website experience. 
You can read about which cookies we use here


We use marketing cookies so that we can provide you with relevant and interest-based content when you visit our website.  
You can read about which cookies we use here.