You can get hundreds of dollars or even more for sharing your personal information and browsing history with advertisers. The pricier the purchase you intend to make, the more you will earn for your data.
We produce data, and we should get paid for it. Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower, founder of OwnYourOwnData foundation Brittany Kaiser has been repeating this over and over again. And slowly, it is becoming true.
In May, CyberNews wrote about Mike Audi, who carries a similar idea. He developed an app called TIKI promising users that they’ll either get paid for their data or will be taken off the grid completely.
Permission.io is yet another project designed to help people earn money by sharing their data with businesses.
“We are very early in the data monetization game. But the transition where individuals start to get paid for their data is happening. Crypto is enabling a lot of it,” Permission.io’s CEO Charlie Silver told CyberNews. His company is offering cryptocurrency in exchange for valuable data.
Shopping history is of ‘enormous value’
Email addresses are not that useful, and what companies are looking for is information about your behavior – what do you do, where do you go, what do you like, what are you searching for.
Regulations like GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation in Europe) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) turn data into liability and discourage companies from collecting too much data and exploiting it. Though the initiative to pay users for their data has to come from the private sector, Silver reckons.
"Government can push things along, but there has to be a business case for things to really happen. The market is moving," he said.
Silver believes that there will be many companies offering payment for personal data and engagement in a few years.
"Everybody recognizes that data is the most valuable asset in the world. We are in the data economy. When I think about my profile, your profile, our browsing and our shopping history, it is of enormous value. Google, Facebook, Amazon are trillion-dollar companies, based on how well they use our data. There's no question in my mind that individuals will start to get paid for their data," he said.
Silver argues that asking users for permission to use their data instead of just exploiting it also makes good business sense.
"When you ask permission, people respond so much better, like ten times better. Many advertisers are familiar with the concept of permission marketing. It is not only an ethical thing to do. It is good for business: you get more customers," he explained.
How can you get paid?
At the moment, Permission.io works as a Chrome extension. Once you install and start using it, you begin seeing relevant ads. You might see a box with something like "cryptocurrency for sharing your data; claim it now." Once you click on it, you will be asked to share your data, such as your email address and phone number, give some information about yourself, such as age and location, and be asked to share your browsing history.
In exchange, an advertiser will offer you cryptocurrency. In particular, you can get a coin that Permission.io has developed - ASK. The more expensive purchase you are about to make, the more advertisers are likely to pay you.
If you are shopping for a mortgage or a new car, that data, Silver argues, could be worth hundreds of dollars for advertisers.
"It will be a free market, meaning the advertiser will determine how much they are willing to pay people to share their data. The marketplace will determine how much your data is worth," he said.
By sharing your data with a particular business, you may expect to receive direct marketing calls or emails.
"The idea is that it is a better arrangement because you are volunteering, you are opting in. Imagine you are shopping for a new car. You want to see stuff that is relevant to what you are looking for. I use the mortgage example because I refinanced my house, and I was shopping for a mortgage. I got tons of ads that were useful," he explained.
Personal data is encrypted and protected, but, Silver highlighted, Permission.io is not in a privacy business. They strive to make a difference by asking the user's permission before using his data and compensating them.
"It's not going to be for everybody. Some people want total privacy. We are not in a privacy business. The biggest variable is what you are shopping for, what you are looking for. If you are looking for a new car or a mortgage or life insurance, your data is worth a lot, 50-100 dollars," he said.
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