Data is as good as gold these days, and Americans are creating far more data than they think they are. is estimated to have created 1.7 megabytes of data in
It’s so valuable that many companies are willing to pay billions of dollars to get it. Harnessing such data to help brands target potential customers is, after all, the bread and butter of companies like Google and Meta. and sold, spawned an entire industry of data brokers. Data brokers themselves are worth hundreds of billions of dollars and include companies like Experian and Spokeo.
In short, your data is valuable. So how much would the typical person be willing to sell it for, say, if it was put up for auction?
There are approximate numbers. According to survey data from his CouponBirds, a coupon and consumer information website, the average American shopper is willing to sell personal data for $1,452.25.
The survey included responses from over 3,500 US consumers, and the CouponBirds team was also able to analyze the data by state. They hypothetically found that people in Colorado asked for the most personal data, at over $2,800. Conversely, Tennessees are the least demanding at $623.04.
From that data set, here are the states where people would most and least request their personal data if it were put up for auction:
State with highest value:
1. Colorado: $2,820.67 2. Nebraska: $2,784.75 3. Wyoming: $2,347.33 4. Minnesota: $2,202.55 5. Oklahoma: $2,016.00
State with lowest value:
50. Tennessee: $623.04 49. Idaho: $742.30 48. Michigan: $801.17 47. Mississippi: $866.43 46. Utah: $919.75
Clearly, some states in the West and Midwest are data-heavy. This seems to be consistent with the ingrained sense of individualism in these parts of the country. But this raises another important question: How should Americans value their personal data? However, the owner is changing. Is $1,450 a fair price?
It depends on the situation, so I can’t say for sure. Some people’s data are more valuable than others. For example, according to Mackeeper’s 2020 analysis, personal data on men tends to be more valuable, with data on young adults (ages 18 to her 24) being the most valuable.
Research is also being conducted into how much payment is required to stop using online services such as search engines and social media networks. It costs over $17,500 a year to incentivize the average person to stop using Google, and over $500 a year to deactivate their Facebook account.
For those who want to get out of the big data runaway once and for all, there’s not much you can do. Data intermediaries operate in a largely unregulated realm and require a great deal of effort to fight back. But the important thing is to know that the data is out there, valuable, maybe more valuable than you think. You can do almost anything with it without notifying you.
Electronic Frontier Foundation staff technician Bennett Cyphers recently told Fast Company: “And they don’t have to tell anyone about it.”
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