Your Personal Data On The Internet Can Be Worth Gold


Personal data has become the black gold of the 21st century, the one that is exploited and stored for later use. But while there is an iron or non-ferrous metal market, there is not yet a personal data exchange. Vodafone UK study indicates data monetization could inject € 21 billion into UK economy! The sum has something to dream of.

“There are several methods to estimate the value of data, tempers Mouloud Dey, Director of Solutions and Emerging Markets at SAS, we can take the capitalization of Facebook and divide by the number of subscribers, which makes 40 to 300 dollars per person according to the value of the action. We can also estimate this value by calculating the shortfall when the data disappears, following a hack or an accident. This is what happened to Target in the United States where the data of 110 million people was stolen.

The calculation shows that these data are worth $ 1.18 per person… ”Among data brokers, a profession prohibited in France, there is an early data exchange: in the United States, an address is worth 50 cents, a date of birth $ 2, a social security number $ 8, a military record $ 35. “Conversely, says Mouloud Dey, you can estimate the value of your personal data by calculating how much it costs not to disclose it. A California start-up, Protect my ID, offers protection for a subscription of $ 15.95 per month. ”

Bare data is of little value

For specialists in “big data” or big data, bare data has little value, it is necessary to be able to process and analyze it in order for it to gain value. “Historically, recalls Mathieu Soulé, strategy analyst at Atelier BNP Paribas, personal data has been used to manage customer relations. But for them to be interesting, you have to be able to cross them, cross them. ” Same story with Olivier Lallement Senior Manager Digital Consulting at Deloitte: “you have to manipulate the data so that it has value.

We have to analyze and compile millions of behaviors in order to bring out types of consumption, social trends and offer new services. ” Clearly, data is nothing if it does not have behind a huge analytical work, analytics in the jargon of professionals. “Analytics was almost born with the Internet, underlines Mathieu Soulé, it is the search engine war between Yahoo and Google. The second won because it had a technology that analyzed Internet users’ requests in real time and offered constantly updated results. ” It was analytics that made Google win.

Remuneration is often implicit

Suddenly, we are witnessing a rush for data, whether it is relatively trivial information such as gender or age, or more personal information on tastes and uses to intimate elements such as health. The remuneration is often implicit: the consumer accesses a free service (Google for example) in exchange for which he provides data. This is the economic model used by some applications that you download to your mobile phone. They claim the right to access the address book, browsing history, geolocation, photos, in short, almost all of the information contained in the smartphone, failing which, the installation is impossible. The developer of the application is remunerated by monetizing the information thus retrieved. Consumer associations like Que Choisir complain that this data capture and use is very opaque.

The best seller is statistics

Are these data anonymous? The professionals of analysis and algorithms answer without hesitation in the affirmative. “The first data we sell are statistics,” explains Ludovic Lévy, vice president of data monetization at Orange. For example, we have a precise measurement of the frequentation of places thanks to the data which is collected by the antennas to which mobile phones connect. Knowing that Mr. Dupont or Durant’s phone is passed near an antenna has no market value. On the other hand, a shopping center, a municipality, a transporter, needs to know how many people pass a certain place at a certain time. It makes it possible to manage the flows.

Besides statistical data, there is also individual quantified data, called pseudonyms. They are useful for creating co-marketed services. ” In France, the crossing and sale of data is regulated. Unsurprisingly, the first buyers of analytics are mass retailers, banks, telecom operators and carriers (airlines and railways). But generalization is on the way. According to Gartner group, 30% of companies in the Western world will gradually manage personal data. “Take an A380, imagines Mouloud Dey, it could collect several hundred gigabytes of data on each flight: on the dietary preferences of passengers, on the films they see, on the weight of the luggage…”

The KGB dreamed of it …

Despite the regulations, the guarantee of anonymity does not exist. The mobile phone is a real spy which transmits sensitive information. Some apps used by athletes send information to contacts who are in the address book. Without asking for your permission… More worryingly, algorithms allow you to predict, to anticipate your actions. They can determine your sexual preferences, your tastes, your political inclinations, your consumption habits, where you will go on vacation and what books you are likely to read at a certain time … In short, the KGB dreamed of it, analytics the fact !