Friday, September 21, 2018

"Can You Make Money Selling Your Data?"

Questions the BBC is/are* asking, Sept. 21:

Tech giants make billions from our data – why can't we do the same? Sam Harrison tries out companies which pay for personal information, with varying results.
Companies are selling our data and making billions doing so. So, why shouldn’t we get in on the act?
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, firms have scrambled to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, in Europe at least. But the damage is already done. Our personal data is out there, and we have lost control of it.

But what if there was a way to claw some of that control back – and make some money in the process?

New companies are emerging, claiming they can finally give us the chance to seize back some ownership of our personal information. By cutting out the middleman and offering more transparency – and a chance to profit – they say they want to give users the means to monitor how their own data is used in a way that tech giants do not.

I like the idea of selling my own data. If the promises are true, I will be able to control who uses it (and how). Plus, I’d be earning money from something that until now I’d been giving away for free. I decided to investigate: could my stats be a viable, untapped income?

I focus on companies that make it possible for me to earn money straight away. Many of the firms I found are just starting out, like Ocean Protocol, which launches to the public in early 2019 and will offer a “data exchange protocol to unlock data for artificial intelligence”. Another is Datacoup, which isn’t currently open to new users signing up. will pay users in ASK tokens, the company’s own cryptocurrency, to watch advertisements. But at the moment there is no way to convert these ASK into non-crypto assets. Since it wasn’t possible to make money with this bunch yet, I decide to focus on three where I can.

Quiz master
One tried-and-true way of making money from your “data” is by filling out online surveys. Most of us take part in online quizzes for fun every now and then – why not answer questions about myself for money? One firm, CitizenMe, claims to offer “real-life value from your life online” by paying users to answer quizzes about themselves. I take a quiz called “Does your data have value?”. I’m hoping it does – that’s why I’m here.
At 10p, I’ve maxed out my earning potential. Not the most promising start
Most of the people I mention this experiment to had a knee-jerk reaction against it their instinct was that we need less of our data floating around the internet, not more. And although this quiz will gather a speck of information dust compared to the mountains of data Facebook has about me, handing over my information to a company like CitizenMe – deliberately, no less – seems like an unnecessary extra risk....MORE
*I (still) have problems deciding if corporations are plural. I know a company of people is/are plural but never got over corporate personhood (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 1886) and by now it's probably too late.

Possibly related:

ICYMI: What's The Actual Cash Value Of Data Collection?
Spoiler alert: It's less than data geeks would think but provides enough of an edge to determine long-run success or failure in a number of industries. More after the jump.

From FT Alphaville:...
Selling Data, Buying Data, Data Science News