What does personal data imply?

 Personal data is hard to define. At a basic level, it means data that can directly or indirectly identify a person. Even if your details go through an anonymization process, it’s still considered personal data if the encryption or pseudonyms can be used to identify you.

 How do social media companies use my data?

 This ultimately depends on their data use and privacy policies. Many companies have become more transparent regarding how they use your data and it’s now essential that they let you download all of the data they have on you. In the example of Facebook, your personal data could include the messages you’ve sent, your mobile contacts, the posts you have liked and so on. Your data can also be used to personalize the advertisements you see so that they pinpoint the demographic you belong to.


 How valuable is my data to them?

 Many companies rely on advertising as a significant portion of their income. While many services like Facebook and Twitter are free to use, the data you give them for free is ultimately what helps them pay to keep their service running. Personal data can also be profitable in other ways, such as for recruitment purposes. These uses are what give personal data such a high value, and it’s why companies are willing to pay large sums of money for large sets of customer data.

 Can I profit from the data I give to social media companies?

 With blockchain technology giving the public greater control over your personal data, it can actually be used to help you earn money whenever your information is used. Thanks to decentralized systems, it’s possible to now decide who can obtain your information and even decide how much it’s worth. This would be facilitated by whoever runs the blockchain platform and, in most cases, only a small fee will be charged at the end of every transaction.

 How does it work?

 It would depend on the type of personal data you’re willing to sell and also the business looking to purchase it. For instance, you could compile all of your social media profiles on an exchange and opt into a scheme that rewards you when the information is shared.

 How much can I expect to earn and how will they pay me?

 This will often be down to the individual. Some blockchain-based platforms will let you set the price, but it’s important to remember that your data won’t be valuable if it can be found elsewhere for free. You could be paid in tokens that can be used for other services on the same platform, such as to buy and trade cryptocurrency, or it could give you generous discounts and cashback rewards when purchasing online.

 Who actually pays for my data?

 Most companies that are trying to advertise their products will purchase your data to form a customer profile. It allows them to pinpoint their advertisements and in some cases can even help them develop better products that are more enticing for the consumer.