The concept of money has changed a lot throughout history. While most people seem to agree that the exchange of value is labeled as money, data experts are claiming that there are other forms of monetary exchange in the world today. Data is quickly becoming the new money, as it holds significant value to both owner and recipient. Is there, however, such a thing as “financial equality” when data becomes money?
Monetizing Data And Who Is Getting The Short Stick
Over the past few years it has become apparent that very few companies are successful at monetizing data.–not just their own information, mind you, but harvesting, analyzing, and reselling client data as well. Social media platforms are a prime example of how consumers willingly give up personal details to companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
At the same time, consumers and privacy advocates are showing a growing concern over how these companies are handling customer data. With information breaches becoming more prominent, a new type of data monetization has started to become popular. Criminals who hack this information turn to the deep web to resell credentials, names, and addresses. In the end, either solution leaves consumers with nothing in their hands, and only puts them at risk of identity theft.
Solving this problem will not happen overnight, by any means. Right now there is no convenient way for consumers to make money off their personal data, and a lot of people seem to be more than OK with that. There are some new laws which should “protect” the rights of consumers as data owners, but that does not create monetary incentivizes just yet.
A bigger worry is how technology companies are notorious for creating loopholes when it comes to these types of regulation. All they need to do is add or modify a few lines in their Terms & Conditions (which no one reads anyway) and consumers are back to square one. A better initiative has to be formed, and digitization can facilitate this transition.
By the look of things, Disintermediary services will be the unlikely savior of consumers all over the world. These “businesses” cut out any middleman, and allow users to directly engage with their favorite brands. Moreover, this business concept allows consumers to create a “price point” for their personal data when they can sell to any company willing to agree to their price.
Unfortunately, such services are very scarce right now, and these are still the early days of disintermediary services. It is not unlikely that blockchain technology will play a significant role in this process, as it provides both transparency and a way for users to retain control over their data. Right now, consumers get the short end of the stick when it comes to monetizing personal data, but that balance may shift sooner than people expect.
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