This June, an online data collection company called DataCoup will begin seeking individuals willing to sell their personal information to large corporations for a direct profit. The company will offer users between $4-$8 dollars per month in compensation, depending on how much and what kind of personal data they are willing to spend. “Matt Hogan, its founder, claims his business will prosper because the quality of data they will offer marketing partners will be so much greater than traditional brokers. … Analytics is then run on the data to glean patterns and insights, which are sold on to willing buyers – marketers in particular.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Users already receive payment for their data in that they have free access to popular social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, and so on. And because current buyers expect to purchase enormous chunks of aggregated data, pooled from among many millions of users, new companies like DataCoup face an uphill battle in becoming established. “The knee-jerk reaction is that if companies are selling my data, why can’t I? That’s a nice inversion as a thought experiment but practically speaking the way people get value from data differs.”