Datacoup, one of the first companies to offer people money in exchange for their personal data, has finished a closed trial of its service and is now opening it to anyone (see “Sell Your Personal Data for $8 a Month”).
Datacoup will pay up to $10 for access to your social network accounts, credit card transaction records, and other personal information, and will sell insights gleaned from that data to companies looking for information on consumer behavior. Talks are in progress with major consumer brands and financial institutions, says Matt Hogan, CEO of the startup.
Whether an individual user gets the full $10 a month or not depends on which streams of data he’s willing to share. Options include debit card and credit card transactions, and data from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Datacoup won’t provide raw data to companies. Instead, it will provide results of analyses performed on that data. For example, a company might ask Datacoup to provide information on how often women in a certain age group mention coffee on Facebook on the same day they use their credit card in a coffee shop.
Donald Waldman, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado, says services like Datacoup may provide useful insights about the perceived value of privacy. “The fact that people do value their information seems obvious, but the question is, how much do they value it?” he says.
Data streams like those that Datacoup collects could turn out to be worth more than $10 a month. Tens of thousands of people already receive $100 a month from a company called Luth Research in return for very detailed data from their smartphones, tablets, and PCs (see “How Much Is Your Privacy Worth?”).
Hogan expects the price that Datacoup offers people for their data to change as his company assesses the supply of customer information and demand from companies willing to pay for analyses of that data. “The market will decide,” he says.
A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.
A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate
Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway
Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.