Archive for February, 2011
An interesting corollary to the idea of paying for attention, detailed in this morning’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required). In the latest article in its continuing series on Internet privacy and personal data, the WSJ mentions several companies that are helping consumers sell their personal data to marketing companies.
In particular, Allow, Ltd. , a London firm, is featured. Like others in this space they act as an intermediary on your behalf. First, they help you remove your information from marketing lists. Then second, they broker transactions between you and various marketing agencies. You fill out some personal information and also list purchases you are planning to make in the near future, and this forms the basis of one’s appeal to specific marketers.
For instance, let’s say you are in the market for a car, or a credit card, or refrigerator. By allowing a marketer who is selling one of those things to serve you appropriate ads, you might be worth as much as $10 to them, because of the tremendous specificity of the targeting. For their effort, Allow takes a 30% cut of your revenue.
Not too dissimilar to paying directly for one’s attention. Perhaps that will be the next step in the evolution of online privacy and data mining. In any event, the rest of the article provides a nice overview of how this space is evolving, and is worth a look.
Would you sell your personal data for a few extra bucks?
Disclosure: I hold no position, either long or short, in any stocks mentioned here.