High concerns have come up regarding the misuse of data by Facebook Inc. and other social media giants. This is due to the startling revelations linking to the recent fiasco if the Cambridge Analytica. The Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook had to tackle politicians as well as industry leaders.
What is the worth of a user’s personal data? How much can a social network make if they collect basic customer data along with data from their online activities? What is the misuse of this data worth? It is not easy to be sure about all this, but we have the factors that affect its worth.
What factors change the worth of your personal data?
The value of personal data is about $0.20 per user as per FT’s personal user data worth calculator. Changing the job profile to other genres does not affect the data too much. Changing your ‘relationship status’ spikes up the value of this data by 33%; to $0.30. Similarly, a status of ‘recently divorced’ increases the value by 10-20%. Having children increases the value marginally but ‘expecting a baby’ increases it about 30%. This definitely makes sense. Such events are the major ones in life and often come with big expenses, especially towards utilities.
Thus, these make the user a major potential customer. The deduction of such information is quite easy for social media platforms which have their background algorithms. Even if the user does not explicitly mention these events, they can be recorded as milestones.
Poor Health Increases the Value of the Data
Health conditions also play a significant role in the calculation of the worth of this data. Common lifestyle conditions like high cholesterol, headaches, back pain, and diabetes can spike the worth of data by 130%. Moreover, such conditions are easily traceable by the algorithms running in the background. Also, cookies and visiting other health-related websites is a giveaway. General queries, searching for doctors and booking an appointment is easily traceable.
Owning a house can increase the value by 30%. Moreover, it also depends on the size of your house. The value of your data hence, increases, as you reach the elite status. This is because you have more disposable income and are a better potential customer. If you indicate any plans of buying a new home or moving by your online searches, the algorithms catch it.
You may be searching for properties, brokers or for a mortgage. Indicating costly ownerships like a boast, premium cars, or plans of joining the gym also shoot up the value.