Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Start-ups envision letting consumers "sell" the rights to use their personal information from "data lockers"

Here’s a new wrinkle in the online privacy debate, the idea that consumers should be able to set up “data lockers” for their personal information (bringing back memories of high school).  The idea is that a consumer could “sell” his information to websites or search engines, who would benefit from the targeted advertising experience, that could one day extend to Internet or even cable TV.  But a typical “price” would not be much, probably less than $5 per site.  So Facebook would have to pay you (a pittance) for the right to send you targeted ads. 

Could consumers then litigate if information in a locker had been used without payment? 

Could the concept extend to photo images, especially if tagged after being taken by others in public, as at bars or discos?  Could this affect news sites or even blogs?

How would "do not track" be impacted, or browser capabilities to restrict tracking?

Patricio Robels has a discussion on “Ecoconsultancy” Feb. 13 here

The New York Times, in an article Feb. 12 by Joshua Brustein,  (“Start-Ups aim to help users put a price on their data”) discusses a number of startups predicated on the idea, such as “Personal” here; “Everything in life isn’t meant to be social”.  (Actually, it should read, “not everything in life is meant to be social”).  A more direct attempt come from “The Locker Project” (“Singly”, link.) And “Connect Me” aims to become “your reputation card, all the social proof you need” (here) requires allowing popups and certain scripts to run).  

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