On this side of the pond, a US-based company called Personal is starting a similar pay-me-for-my-data-you-soulless-marketing-weasels service. Though it’s not commercially available yet, you can sign up for a waiting list at its site. (Watch this space for more news about Personal as it develops.)
This could absolutely work here as well, though the opt out process would be a bit harder. Why? There are two truisms at work.
Truism #1: With the exception of certain 20-somethings who believe the entire world wants to see them drunk and bare-assed on the InterWebs, most people really want to protect at least some of their personal information, even if they don’t quite know how. (As for those 20-somethings who don’t care? Talk to me in 10 years.)
Truism #2: Nobody wants to pay extra for privacy. There’s a reason why Craigslist and Wikipedia and Facebook are so damned popular, and it’s because they’re free. We are a nation of cheapskates (and I know, I’m one of them). But getting paid for sharing your personal data? That’s a whole other ballgame.
In fact such schemes exist today, in a really annoying half-assed kind of way. That’s what all those spammy “win a free xBox/iPad” emails are all about – you essentially sell your personal info for a slim chance at winning one of these uber gadgets by filling out dozens of affiliate offers. The a$$#ol3s! who run these sites rake in bucks each time you hand your data over to an affiliate -- well in excess of the cost of an xBox. You end up selling out for fractions of a penny, relative to the time you’ll spend filling out each offer and fending off spam and telemarketing calls that result from the data you just shared.
Why not make actual money without all the hassle? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
And oh, by the way, all those people who keep saying “privacy is dead, get used to it”? They just want you to continue giving your information away for free. That game is strictly for suckers. Your and my personal data are worth quite a lot to marketers. It’s time we all made something on it, too.
Readers interested in the personal data of ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan
Readers interested in the personal data of ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynanshould send $1000 in cash and a self-addressed stamped envelope to him via this blog. Personal checks not accepted. The rest of you cheapskates can just read his geeky humor blog eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild) or follow him on Twitter:@tynan_on_tech.