Our data is fueling the digital economy. Should we be paid for it?

Your personal information is what keeps the digital engine running. Without it, many digital companies would disappear. Not only you are offering insights about who you are, where you are and what are you doing but you are giving them enough information to predict what you will do in the future. I attended a conference hosted by McAfee, where Ashton Kutcher- guest speaker- said:

“Privacy is the New Celebrity”

It made me realize that maybe it’s time to stop digital robbery.

Think of the last time you downloaded or subscribed to something out of on the internet. In return, all you had to do was to fill some information about yourself or even simpler use your Facebook or Google login.  But is it really free?


Subscription Template

Login Template

To benefit from all the “great” services websites offer, you willingly provide information about yourself including your contact information, habits, network, hobbies, photos, videos, music, favorite brands and many others.

If you take a step back for a while and you ask yourself: What information am I really giving away? Who is getting access to this information? What are they doing with it? How much does it really worth?

Few years from now, only a handful of internet companies such as Google and Facebook will become uniquely positioned to take over every single industry in the planet using YOUR INFORMATION THAT YOU WILLINGLY GAVE AWAY WITHOUT REALIZING ITS TRUE VALUE.

It is true that digital companies are offering users exceptional services that are enhancing our quality of life. That being said, we need to have the ability to value our data and to assess whether the services that we are consuming are worth giving away our information.

My questions is, if our personal information is fueling the growth of digital companies, shouldn’t we get compensated for it and have complete control over it?

Food for Thought:

Governments, policymakers and internet users together need to join forces on developing the means to calculate the economic value of our personal information as well as the mechanism to charge for them and have better visibility over them if we opt to do so. This will help limit the monopolistic growth of the internet giants who will eventually takeover most of the industries.

Good news is that policy makers started to respond to this threat by enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU).

Meanwhile, we need to be vigilant about the services that we are accessing and what permissions we are granting them.

I will be writing more about this subject and I look forward to receive your thoughts.


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