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Experiment Conducted on Data Utilization through Digitalization of Shopping Receipts Aiming to develop an environment in which individual consumers will be able to securely manage their personal data and provide such data with prior consent to businesses

In FY2016, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted an experiment concerning data utilization through the digitalization of shopping receipts (digital receipts). As a result of the experiment, METI discovered the usefulness of a system in which individual consumers are able to securely manage their own personal information, data on shopping receipts and other data, and provide such information with prior consent to businesses.

1. Summary of the experiment

For the summary of the FY2016 experiment, visit the following website for the related press release.

2. Results of the experiment

The experiment utilized approximately 600 participants as study subjects. These cooperators managed data on their purchase history through digital receipts using their own smartphones with a specific application as well as provided such data from themselves to other entities.

The smartphone application used in the experiment has a built-in privacy policy manager (PPM). This helped users to access [i] a system in which terms of use provided by companies are indicated in a reader-friendly manner and [ii] a system in which users are able to adjust the level of confidentiality of their data with prior consent in providing such data. Through these efforts, METI prepared an environment in which such participants in the experiment are assisted in managing their private information required in providing their personal information to other entities.

As a result, approximately 70% of participants in the experiment chose to provide their personal information including their addresses and telephone numbers and data information on all purchase history (whose level of PPM confidentiality is low) to other entities while receiving gift bonus-points that they can use in shopping as compensation for the data. In addition, concerning their use of PPM in the experiment, approximately 60% of participants answered that PPM (slightly) secured management of their personal data or convinced them to provide such data.

3. Future prospects

Based on the results of the experiment, METI found potential in developing an individual-oriented data distribution market under the system in which [i] individual purchasers are able to manage their own purchase history, [ii] an environment with a complete privacy management tool is established, and [iii] such purchasers are able to receive attractive compensations or services for their data provision.

METI will continue to endeavor to develop a market in which personal data, e.g., data on purchase history, will be distributed, which is individual-oriented and makes data providers feel secure, and through this effort, it will also aim to develop an environment in which businesses are able to develop products and provide services based on more accurate consumer understanding.

Release date

July 26, 2017

Division in Charge

Consumer Affairs, Distribution and Retail Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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