Passive data is your digital footprint, bits that have been left behind as you go about your day. This trail of bits could come from anywhere – from interacting with branded content on social media, to swiping your credit card to pay for a taxi. Just a few seconds ago, you generated a few bits of passive data by clicking on a link to read this article.
Being “passive”, this data is not something that you generate consciously. Passive data is a byproduct of your everyday technological existence, which is why many people are not aware of its intrinsic monetary value.
Like a raw material, passive data can be mined and used in many different ways. Advertisers can use your browser history to predict what kind of product you are likely to buy; health organizations can use the purchasing patterns of you and your neighbours to gauge when an influenza outbreak is coming. A lot of different types of organizations can extract value from your passive data. Right now, that’s exactly what they are doing, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.
There is a whole industry of high-value businesses – which operate rather euphemistically as data management platforms – built around the capture of individual data. According to the Data-Driven Marketing Institute, this industry generated $156 billion dollars in revenue in 2012 – approximately $60 per every one of the world’s 2.5 billion internet users.
As impressive as this figure sounds, it really is just the first step for the data economy. By the end of the decade, the global internet population will reach 5 billion, and the amount of data will grow exponentially with the addition of 10 billion machine-to-machine connections and a 11-fold rise in mobile data traffic. With an increase in applications across industries, it’s reasonable to project that individual data will soon be worth over $100 per internet user. Within just 10 years, this industry will be generating more than half a trillion dollars per year.
So, as creators of this multibillion-dollar data, will individuals like you and I be compensated?
[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]
From: The World Economic Forum / Forum:Blog — What’s the value of your personal data?
By Nathan Eagle