Next Steps Making Midata a Reality
A new programme has been launched by the government to help make it easier than ever for businesses and individuals to access their personal data. The midata programme, described by some as ‘ground-breaking’, is being implemented to make data relating to energy bills, credit card spending, online transactions and even loyalty card use easy to read, which could help them to ultimately save money. This is seen as being a growing market, and the new initiative has been designed to help the UK be at the forefront.
Launched in April 2011 as a key component of the UK government’s ‘Better Choices: Better Deals’ consumer empowerment strategy, midata could have a big role to play in savings made on everything, not least energy costs, which have soared in recent years to the dismay of many. Previously, people who wanted to know about data relating to most of their transactions couldn’t access it, but the advent of midata could change all that for the better, making it easier for them to analyse statistics concerning their spending.
The main reason that midata came into being was to help give consumers a better deal on everything they buy. Through finding out about the data created by their personal or business expenditure as well as wider consumer habits. Businesses in particular could stand to benefit from midata, as a spokesperson from energy saving experts Make It Cheaper explained:
“Any initiative which gives consumers information allowing them to make better decisions on what they purchase is surely a good thing. We will monitor midata’s progress and see if small and medium-sized businesses will be able to take advantage. Being saving experts for business, we know that being transparent and honest is important, and aren’t afraid of letting our customers of our opinions. This could help businesses save money by finding a better deal on energy, telecommunications and other costs, even if midata is still in its infancy.”
Although steps have been taken to give the midata programme greater scope, there are still a few obstacles that need to be overcome. The government stated that consultation was still taking place, and that they’re hoping that businesses, consumer groups and members of the public will give their views on midata. To date, energy companies are among those who have opened up as part of the programme, letting their customers know about what they do and where they spend their money.
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