How valuable is data really?

Your data has no real value at first, except for the social value (it’s worth rememberingyour own wedding day) as well as practical value (the pin of the credit card helps to get money).Otherwise, your data is worthless.

What’s more, you don’t even own your own data because data can’t be property.What connects you to your data is a limited power ofdisposal, no more and no less (see General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) as a clearwebsite).

However, it can be valueby your data in 3 ways:

  1. Your data can provide access to actual values.

This is the only case where your data has individual value. Most directly again: your credit card details. Someone with pin and security code can (partially) go shopping at your expense. This results in a positive value for the person who clears your account and a negative value for you. In all other cases, individual data generates value only in the context of aggregated data.

  • Your data is part of a larger data collection.
  • Based on this data collection, it is possible to draw conclusions about behavior and probabilities of behavior. E.g. in online marketing, in credit and insurance. For the data collector, or processor, your data is valuable as part of all the data collected to improve the targeting of campaigns, or to work out algorithms that even better predict whether someone will pay back their loan or not, or which Message will help you or he party XYZ.

  • Your data is compared individually with the results of analyzed large amounts of data.
  • This is the use of data from point 2. Based on the information you enter (or otherwise known about you), you will be assigned to a Target group and will accordingly receive (or not) advertising online. Or you get the loan, but only at higher interest rates, because based on your data, a higher risk is assumed. In this case, value is created from your data. For the user of your data, this value is usually positive. For you as an end-user, this can be positive value (you pay the lower interest rates because other groups now bear their own risk), or negative value (you don’t get the loan at all, because your characteristics unfortunately become a group with particularly special poor payment behaviour).

    As you can see, the true value of your data is abstract and rarely as tangible as in the case of lost or leaked credit card data.If you try to sell your data, you will only get a few cents for it at best (paid surveys, online pannels, other marketing investigations). If the wrong data is lost, or in combination with a large amount of data, but the wrong thing to say about you – or rather, you assign to the wrong group – then data about important moments in life can be co-decided and thousands of , hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, perhaps even millions.Similarly, the economic use of large amounts of aggregated data can create a high value for the user.

    The value of your data is abstract and unpredictable.The handling of data should nevertheless – or precisely because of it – be done consciously. Both at an individual level, as well as socially and in the economy.

    Leave a Reply