In A World Where Privacy Is Optional, What Is The Cost Of Personal Data

The value of privacy has increased over the years as the ease to invade it has decreased. Not only that, the amount of private data privy to online scammers and frauds places the most severe cybersecurity problems in our hands making the case not only difficult but unequivocally important for the future of the digital age.

With cases against Facebook and other Social Media Platforms for privacy infringement have brought in more light than there ever was on the issue of private information and browsing history being used for monetary gain. With these middlemen amassing fortunes by shelving our private data to advertising agencies for more specific ad campaigns providing more revenue on return to these companies hence sidelining it as a win win for everyone but the users that are being exploited.

In a recent survey, conducted by Simpletexting, the question was posed to around a thousand Americans on whether they would or would not be likely to trade off their privacy for monetary benefit.

As was expected from the users, a significant portion of them was heavily concerned as to where their data is used when they exchange it for discounts or coupons over email or on forms. Around 7 in 10 of the respondents showed a level of doubt as to how much data is available to big platforms and a similar percentage showed concerns that companies who on the outset claim they don’t collect/sell data, but do so behind closed doors.

However, the economic incentive gained by these users in exchange of their private data seemed to wash away all these concerns as a majority of 62.6% of the participants agreed to exchange data for money.

A trend was noticed in the return that was asked for by users where things from permanent address, ownership status to past times, and product demographics were covered in between a thousand dollars for the former and a hundred dollars for the latter. However, as the amount for the information increased, the number of people that decided to not disclose it increased over a simple case of supply and demand. As the supply was less and the demand was more, the price was more. For example, 15% of the respondents said they would never share their home address making the price at $1040 whereas only 6% of the respondents said they would never share their hobbies estimating it at $176.

The estimates provided by these users can be implemented and used by huge multinational firms rather than exploiting for information and then damaging their own reputation and user base if a case is launched against them.
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