February 25, 2012

"That'll be $1.25 for your first impressions."

Many people are crying out that every social media company

is selling their personal data. These people tend to feel they do

not get their fair payment in lieu.

Even though I agree that personal data has value, I counter:

Maybe we need to look at it differently. Some considerations:

If this data is so personal to you, don't share it with anybody.

Next, let's touch on a deep philosophical point. There are two

existences for anything that is exposed to the public. You

might "own" the perceived existence, but I "own" whatever

I perceive. That is mine. While the structure of your face does

not belong to me, my perception of your face is clearly my

experience. It doesn't belong to you (even if you want it to).

My personal data has no value on it's own. Value is created thru

interested companies. Who do you know who will pay you for

nothing of value? I double dog dare you: find a person who is

eager enough to pay for your age, gender, or habits. Ask away!

Managing the aggregated data creates the value and only to

intrigued entities, but not to individuals like me and you.

Now people are starting to argue to be compensated for

even the most basic of "their personal data", but who says

measurable value is NOT given? They ARE compensated by

interesting "free" products people are obviously addicted to.

Next thing I know, it will become standard practice that you

expect me to pay you for my first impression. Oh dear!

Mine is just as priceless as yours.