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[liberationtech] FT: Companies scramble for consumer data (personal data are so cheap... why bother to protect them)

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Jun 14 11:48:33 PDT 2013

From: Toon Vanagt <toon.vanagt at>

I stumbled on this FT article with 'volume pricing' for personal data and a convenient estimation tool:

Basically, if you're a millionaire, your personal data is worth about $ 0.123 (if you're not, you start at: $ 0.007).

The FT has build an interactive data value estimation tool. For example by adding ADHD to my profile I gained a stunning $ 0.200. Consider it extra money for 'salting data set' :)

3 Quick thoughts:

"The Financial Times will not collect, store or share the data users input into the calculator." Despite this disclaimer I wonder what the FT really does with the harvested data on its web servers or considered the risk of 'leaking logs'? At the end of their 'game', I'm invited to share my private 'data worth' on Twitter, which exposes how much Marketers would pay approximately for your data: and conveniently allows third parties to identify me... When linked with their identifiable FT subscriber profile, there's no need for a tweet to link the results to a person. 
Check <- public search result. Great for marketeers. Also has the potential to reverse engineer profiles.. 
Prices in the article & calculator seem very low and suggest that your 'personal data' are not really valuable to companies in a consumer society  That is if you're not obese, don't subscribe to a gym, don't own a plane... Due to competition the broker prices are said to trending towards 'worthless'.. Data brokers seem to suggest we should not bother to protect something of so little economic value...

Let me know if my reading between the lines is wrong.

Does anybody know about a personal data value calculator that is not based on broker volume pricing, but reveals how much companies pay for qualified leads in different industries (mortgage, insurance, cruise travel, fitness, car test drive, hotel booking,...) The outcome of such an 'intent cast valuator' would be much higher and more of an economic incentive to raise awareness of data value.



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