How Much Is Your Personal Data Worth?

Venus Ranieri
Jul 10, 2020

By now you might have heard that former Democratic presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang is working on a framework that would allow the 'average Joe' to get paid for their personal data that's collected while online.This Singularity Hub article written by Vanessa Bates Ramirez breaks down what little information we do have about Yang's newly-launched Data Dividend Project (DDP).Here is a quick video to catch you up to speed. 👇

Have you ever felt like your phone is listening to you? You can thank the targeting options offered by Facebook, Google, and Amazon for paid advertising. These three companies own an overwhelming majority of the digital marketing space and are getting rich off of the 'pay-to-play' mentality common in the paid media world these days.

As consumers, our data is valuable, and just like I don't agree with unpaid internships, I disagree that these companies should be able to use our data without sharing the profits.Now, how much is our data worth and where does it get tricky? That's the potentially billion-dollar question. Most likely, the data points will be monetized on a sliding scale. For example, your name and phone number/email address would likely be more valuable than just your name and job title/industry.Two main concerns that come to my mind with a project like this include:

  • How do we ensure this system benefits everyone and we don't devalue people's data based on their gender, race or economic standing?
  • How do we make it so everyone has equal access to collect the money they earn from a program like this?

What additional concerns do you have regarding this project and if Yang's framework becomes reality, where would YOU want companies to start the bidding for your data?