How much is your privacy worth to you?

Privacy is important to everyone on some level. What we consider to be sensitive material, and where we draw the line varies from one individual to the next, but everyone has personal information they’d rather not share with the world at large. A new study, however, finds that a majority of people have a price–and that they’re willing to share information with specific entities in exchange for perks or discounts.

I wrote a blog post about trading privacy for dollars:

Privacy is a sensitive topic—especially in the post Edward Snowden NSA-gate era. People don’t like being spied on, or having their personal information shared…unless it’s on their own terms. It turns out that your privacy is a commodity, and you can trade it for perks and benefits.

The idea of trading privacy for greater value is not new. Retail chain loyalty programs have been monitoring and logging your purchase history in exchange for discounts and coupons for years. In the Internet age, though, and with the dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technology, the idea of privacy as a commodity is gaining momentum.

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel provide an in-depth look at the tradeoffs between privacy and convenience in their book Age of Context. The authors point out that you can do your best to live some sort of Luddite, off-the-grid existence, but that access to your personal information enables devices, sites, and services to deliver a custom-tailored experience designed just for you. In other words, you stand to receive greater value if you are willing to exchange access to your personal data.

Read the complete story at Forbes: Trading Your Privacy To Save A Few Dollars.

How much is your privacy worth to you? Are you willing to share sensitive personal data with companies if it results in discounts or savings for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Scroll to Top