Is loyalty program data being used to enhance members’ shopping experience or invade their privacy?


  1. Created daily – at a rate of 2.5 quintillion bytes
  2. Discussed ethicallyits use & abuse
  3. Hacked regularlynumber of breaches reported 

As the data volume grows, data ethics are debated and security continues to be an ongoing priority, data exchanged between people and business is a fundamental driver of our everyday functioning.

Loyalty program data collection and use

In consumer commerce, one of the overtly evident exchanges of data between people and business takes place within loyalty programs.

The days of loyalty programs being a veneer for a data grab are well and truly over.

Customers are more sensitive to the giving of their personal information and ongoing buying behaviour.

It is therefore a priority for all businesses that have any type of rewards/ recognition/ benefits/ loyalty program to be aware of how their members feel about the use of their data.

In For Love or Money 2018 we asked members to identify how they feel about loyalty programs using their personal and purchase information across four scenarios, based on whether each scenario:

Enhances members shopping experience (enhancer)


Invades their privacy (invader)

Loyalty program data - enhancer or invader

Once members understand how loyalty programs use their data, they are generally accepting of the variety of ways their personal and purchase information can be used by loyalty programs to enhance their shopping experience.

New technology advances – such as the use of facial recognition technology as part of identifying program members and delivering unique offers and benefits – is only seen by 18% of members as enhancing their shopping experience. More than half of members feel this would be an invasion of their privacy.

So as loyalty and rewards program evolve, the transparency and sensitivity of how member data is being used should be validated by the answer to the questions:

Will it enhance the member’s experience or will it invade their privacy?

To find out more about the members’ view on loyalty program data being used, you can download a complimentary Executive Summary of For Love or Money 2018 at