The message has still not got through to consumers hoping to bring in some cash by selling their personal details to brands; a new online tool has calculated that, on average, their information is worth just 45p.
Created by Totally Money, the initiative is designed to show people just how easy and cheap it is for companies to buy personal data.
After asking users to name the price for 13 different data types, including email address, health condition, or credit ratin, the calculator then tells them the real price.
To support the launch of the calculator, the company surveyed 1,000 UK adults to test their knowledge of the market, and, perhaps unsurprisingly most were completely in the dark.
For instance, 40% of Facebook users did not even know that the social media giant sells their data to third parties, with half claiming they would have already ditched the site if they had known this to be true. Among those aged 18 to 24, this soars to almost two thirds (60%).
But perhaps the real eye-opener for those who took part in the study was the paltry value of their information. On average, they valued their email address at £983, whereas companies actually buy it for 5p. When it comes to browsing data, the men reckoned theirs was worth £1,057, 29% higher than women. In reality, this data costs £0.0014. Meanwhile, 10% said they would buy data on a friend, and would be willing to pay up to £220 for it.
On average, consumers believe their data is worth £2,031. In reality, companies pay around 45p for it.
And while a Boston Consulting Group study predicted the value of European consumers’ personal data could grow to nearly a trillion euros (£810bn) annually by 2020, it appears it will be a long time before consumers see any of that cash.
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