HP Wants to Build a Personal Data Stock Exchange

Looking to make a cut of the billions of dollars in annual revenue Internet companies make by selling personal data, Hewlett-Packard wants to patent its idea for an open data market. 

What's the Latest Development?


HP Labs, the research arm of Hewlett-Packard, is seeking to patent its model for a personal data stock exchange. In the model, Internet users would set prices on bundles of personal information, from age to weight to drink preferences, seeking to attract buyers from the open market. Those buyers would most likely be businesses, such as pharmaceutical companies, looking to use personal and demographic information to advance a particular product or vein of research. "A trusted market operator could take a small cut of each transaction and help arrive at a realistic price for a sale." 

What's the Big Idea?

With Internet companies making billions of dollars each year by selling your personal information, new business models that promise more user control are gaining momentum. "Startups like Personal and Singly are working on these challenges already. The World Economic Forum recently called an individual's data an emerging 'asset class'." Ultimately, "giving people control on a trustworthy market could encourage more and new kinds of data to be shared. ... For example, a person might feel comfortable putting an anonymous health record on the market after visiting a hospital, or sharing automobile GPS locations to help cities decide where to build new roads."

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