Next steps making midata a reality

The Government has announced a ground-breaking partnership with 26 organisations to deliver a new era of consumer empowerment.

The businesses, consumer bodies and regulators involved are all committed to working with Government to achieve its vision for midata, launched today. And all are endorsing the key principle that data should be released back to consumers.

midata is a voluntary programme the Government is undertaking with industry, which over time will give consumers increasing access to their personal data in a portable, electronic format.

Individuals will then be able to use this data to gain insights into their own behaviour, make more informed choices about products and services, and manage their lives more efficiently.

The Government is committed to putting the UK at the forefront of this rapidly developing market which is why the consultation proposes introducing a power that, when exercised, would give new rights to consumers to access their personal transaction data in an electronic, portable and machine-readable format.

midata was launched in April 2011 as part of Government’s consumer empowerment strategy, Better Choices: Better Deals. The programme is a partnership between the UK Government, consumer groups and major businesses aimed at giving consumers access to the data created through their household utility use, banking, internet transactions and high street loyalty cards.

Allowing people to access and use this personal data has the potential to open up a wealth of opportunities for consumers and businesses, promoting growth across the wider economy.

Consumer Minister, Norman Lamb said: “It’s clear to me that giving consumers the right to access their own transaction data promises huge opportunities for both consumers themselves and UK businesses.

“midata will allow consumers greater insight into their everyday consumption and lifestyle habits by using applications and intermediaries to analyse their actual behaviours and thereby empower them to make better spending choices and secure the best deals. This will boost competition between companies in terms of value and service, and stimulate innovation in new data management tools and systems.”

“We want the UK to be at the forefront of the data analytics and information services market that is rapidly growing with huge international potential. However, it’s crucial that we engage with business and consumers to ensure that we do this in the right way.”

Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Chair of the midata programme, said: “The ability for individuals to manage their own data for their own purposes has the potential to unleash significant personal, social, civic and economic benefits. Empowering consumers in this way will help to build an efficient, innovative 21st century economy”

Graham Donoghue, Managing Director of Financial Services,, said: “ welcomes the midata initiative with open arms and is pleased to be involved along with other companies in developing the programme. As the UK’s leading price comparison site, helping consumers to get a better deal and take control of their finances is at the core of what we do. Allowing people to access their own data in easy to use formats will certainly help more people make the most of their money on a huge range of products and services.”