Are you willing to sell your private data?

We all use mobiles, we all use the internet, we all have private data. If companies are using our private data to sell or improve their business, shouldn’t we also benefit from it? Could this work?

I read this interesting article the other day in Quartz by Marc Guildimann called “The free market can actually help us control our privacy”. He writes that if we are the holders of our private information, why not monetize it? Why not supply it at a cost? Why not use the already existing market for data to our advantage? He makes a very interesting point. So why don’t we?

Well, there are a few issues that I can think of.

Firstly, we constantly let websites and apps gather our information, sometimes without even realizing it. Let’s face it, when’s the last time you read a privacy policy?! So we accept their conditions and legally allow them to access our data.  (If you’re the type to read the fine print then good on ya!)

The next problem we are faced with is if we don’t allow them access to our information, can we still use their service? Yes, well, sometimes… We can control their access after the fact if they’ve allowed us to. Some just will stop working without the proper permissions. It’s an all or nothing scenario.

“In these times, personal data is a currency. Without users, platforms are irrelevant. We need each other for this ecosystem to work.” MyPermissions

Okay, so taking that all into account, how willing are you to sell your private information? Are you already thinking  “but at what price?”  There are some companies out there already offering something in return for our personal data. There are some great causes like with Enliken that donates the money to charity or receiving $1 a month with Money For My Data. Either way the going rate is pretty low. Are you really going to sell your data for $12 a year?

Our personal data is ours and ours only. Companies are using it freely for their own benefit.  It’s up to us to tell them that our privacy is worth something or that it’s off limits!

Do you agree? Share your thoughts below 🙂

3 Responses

  1. Doron

    I think as long as we are downloading from trusted and reputable companies like Google, Apple, or other large companies then there isn’t much to worry about when it comes to sharing our data. The large corporations only care about their profits and won’t do anything to harm it. In other words, I think Google will only use our information to better our experience with them, and won’t use it in any malicious ways. Google has much more to gain from keeping our data safe and secure with them then selling it to any 3rd party.

    I think the danger really comes into play when we start downloading from lesser known companies where the sharing of our data might be a large part of their business model. But the truth is at the end of the day, how hard is it from someone to acquire our information if they really want it? What is the major fear of sharing our data? Are we scared someone will hack us? Are we scared someone will break into our house?

    I would like to hear what are the practical dangers to sharing our data and perhaps some real life incidents where someone’s data was used against them

    Like

    1. Doron, thanks for your insightful response! You’re right that reputable companies, like Google, have a lot at stake and that we trust they won’t jeopardize our privacy. You’d be interested to know that Google’s privacy policy states, “We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google when we have your consent to do so” (http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/). So I guess the question is, at what point do we or did we give consent? And of course, are these 3rd parties of concern to us?

      You’ve brought up some fantastic questions about the real dangers to sharing our data. I will definitely consider them for future posts so keep a look out 🙂

      Like

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