The startups that want to get you paid for your data
The Future. Several startups and investors are building platforms that will help users “sell” their personal data. While data rights could give billions of people the opportunity to collect passive income, many may pass on the headache of managing their info and profiles if the payouts aren’t enticing enough.
Pay me for me
Imagine if your personal data was retrofitted into passive income. Here are some companies making that a reality.
- The Brave browser pays users 70% of the ad revenue that they specifically generate in “Basic Attention Tokens,” which can then be redeemed for cash.
- The social check-in app Foursquare gives users gift cards in exchange for sharing their location.
- Users that sign up for Reklaim allow the company to sell data on their behalf and get weekly checks in return.
- Streamlytics’ app, Clture, specifically pays Black users for their data from sites like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Uber, and Google Maps.
- And in the most ambitious experiment yet, billionaire Frank McCourt wants to build a decentralized, blockchain-based social network, Project Liberty, that allows users to control the data themselves.
How much am I worth?
There are several implementation issues for getting people and companies to adopt this at scale, but it’s possible that the biggest roadblock is people opting out because they aren’t paid enough. All of these platforms (with the exception of Clture) only pay about $5 to $15 per month (Clture pays an average of a few hundred every quarter). That number may not be meaningful enough to sell their data intentionally.
And to put those payments into perspective, personal data powers a $455.3 billion digital-ad market. People are going to want a bigger cut of that.