Fusebox EPFL

How to monetize user data?

It is deep in today's folklore that tech companies spy on their users. Google knows what you search and the sites that you browse. Apple knows where you are usually and who's nearby. Amazon knows your shopping habits. Etc etc.

This stuff is spooky as it is, but personally for me it'd be interesting to learn the exact consequences of potentially yielding a huge amount of data about myself to these companies. I mean, obviously there's no big brother who cares about the content of my personal emails or about what exactly I ate for breakfast today, but I still feel that I'm being used. How exactly and in what capacity?

Blagovesta Kostova Nov 29, 2015

I have read about this "monetization". And it turns out our individual data is not worth much. There are already some companies who try to do this and they struggle to the best of my knowledge. So I would assume out data is worth something if only bundled together with the others' data. This way, there are useful patterns to be extracted from the data so that the "purchaser" can target the potential market more effectively. Yet, I like the idea and some point, I was really into it. Cheers.

Reply 0

Eugene Burmako Nov 30, 2015

Could you share some links from the times you were investigating this? 

My interest comes from the fact that, on Tuesday, I attended a FutureEnterprise webinar called "Digital Business Model Innovations". In an hour-long lecture Gigi Wang, an expert from Silicon Valley, talked among other things about trends in business models. The lecturer hinted that monetization of data was a big trend in modern business models, giving examples of Google, SkinVision, Bluekai and even something as trivial as barcode scanning (and stuff like Cumulus or Supercard) in supermarkets. This got me really curious.

Reply 0

Joanna Salathé Nov 29, 2015

I think your idea is great, I'm very curious about this subject too. From my point of view, I agree with Blagovesta that the value of such data comes from their aggregation and that alone they are rather useless. I also think that maybe our personal data can worth a lot if they are sold to advertisment companies in order to have targeted ads. Finally I'm wondering if they are already a "trading" of such data between those giants tech companies. For example, maybe Apple wants to trade geolocality information against consumer habits from Amazon to better identify their product's buyers. This also raises in my mind the question of legality with respect to this subject. I think it is written somewhere very very small in their general condition, that they can make whatever they want with our data, though.

Reply 0

Mateo Dugand Nov 30, 2015

Great idea! Regarding what Blagovesta and Joanna said, I believe that IF the system requires an individual payment for each user the company want to get some data from, you will have a two sides system. From the B2B side, the value of the data will be huge because sold as packs of individuals. From the B2C side, it will be small amounts but the biggest improvement will be the regulation of data trading and its privacy improvement I suppose. 

Reply 0

Blagovesta Kostova Dec 1, 2015

Hello,

These are the articles I have read.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/927ca86e-d29b-11e2-88ed-00144feab7de.html#axzz2z2agBB6R

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/apr/22/how-much-is-personal-data-worth

Reply 0