Tuesday, December 05, 2023

We Should Get Paid for Our Online Data

 MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Yep, We’re Doomed. “Happy Monday morning, everybody. We just hit another milestone on the road to ruin.”

We Should Get Paid for Our Online Data

TIME: “Since January 2023, the United States Department of Justice along with the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, have been in court pursuing a civil antitrust suit against Google. 

And on Sept. 26, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general filed a separate antitrust caseagainst Amazon. What is this fight between the government and the major online platforms? The fight is about us.

 That is, they are fighting over access to our personal information. The details of our online identity and market habits represent a valuable commodity for Google and Amazon—but also for companies like Meta (formerly Facebook), X (formerly Twitter), and Apple. Think about the rough numbers involved: Internet advertising in the U.S. in 2023 has amounted to over $200 billion.

The number of active online users is at least 200 million. Two hundred billion divided by 200 million makes our personal information worth about $1,000. That’s $1,000 that changes hands between marketers and the online for each and every adult per year. This begs the question: if this is our information to begin with, why don’t we have the means to not only control it, but to potentially derive value from it? If someone wants complete privacy, they can opt out. But if someone is happy to let marketers know about their market preferences, they could be compensated for providing that valuable information…”