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Psst, Got Any Personal Data to Sell? The World's First Virtual Stock Exchange for Personal Data

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Sure, security is the number one concern of most internet users. But maybe we are going about it wrong? The world’s largest tech companies, those websites and apps we use every day, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, glean huge quantities of our personal data. They know more about each of us than most family members...

Personal security data

Most tech companies profit from our data by serving up ads while others also lease or sell our info (even to data brokers). It's a consumer business worth millions of dollars--so lucrative those data brokers are called "data privateers." Like pirates of old except there has been no mutiny on this bounty.

While it's our data they're selling, we don't earn a cent. In an era of digital disruption, where media constantly bombards us to take our businesses digital, we've been blind to our own increasingly valuable digital profile.

Now two companies want to change that...

Insilico Medicine and The Bitfury Group plan to create the world’s first personal data marketplace run on blockchain and powered by artificial intelligence. The marketplace will let you take control of your personal data--and profit from it.

Via the marketplace, you'll be able to sell (or license) your data directly to different companies in different industries. Maybe you are not interested in sharing your info, but so much of that info is the same data you are giving away now. Whether it's Instagram, Facebook or Candy're leaking data like a digital sieve. Even TIME magazine knows this.

TIME magazine

In this new marketplace, data brokers would make a crypto currency payment (via its own crypto currency, called Lifepound) to buy or use an individual’s age, shopping preferences, reading habits, hobbies, blood type, or even prescription drug history.

How much will your personal data be worth on the platform? While some retail companies might pay between $50 to $500 month for your personal shopping data, the price tag for other data points, including financial and healthcare, can only be determined once the marketplace is up.

Experts (and the founders of the marketplace) believe the most lucrative payments will be made to individuals willing to selling their biological or genetic data.

Have you used 23andMe, the company that offers personalized genetic reports from your spit? In a single deal, 23andMe earned $60 million to share access of their database of DNA profiles (minus the spit) from their 800,000 customers. According to Forbes, that means their business success is now more about collecting & selling data and less about the DNA kits they sell.

With the creation of a "dataplace" for personal data, it's just possible consumers might take back control, forcing companies who want your info to acquire either it or license it. Instead of filling in forms with personal info to get a new free app, you might compel them to buy your data file in the marketplace.

If personal data gains real value, it may almost become a virtual currency. (Which is probably why the founders of this new marketplace thought of creating Lifeblood, their crypto currency.) And if that created value is great enough (or leveraged in some sort of collective fashion, the power being in numbers), its commercial value may outweigh the value of the "free" services that you now pay for with your data (not just the filled-in forms but all the data collected by tracking).

For example, that restaurant or hotel that forces you to sign in with Facebook to get free wifi (oh, I guess it's not really "free" as you pay with data!)...maybe in the future those guys will be forced instead to buy your data profile if they want to collect info. (If the value of your data outweighs the value of their free wifi, they will be encouraged to pay you to collect info vital to their business.)

You will be able to sell your different data at different prices: just the way daily newspapers once charged different prices for ads in different sections of the classified.

The watershed moment of the revolution in personal data may have just arrived...and it may have dramatic results for those high tech companies that depend upon the invisible collection of our every move...

Let's put it another way: the hidden beauty of the world’s first personal data marketplace could be the digital disruption of the digital disruptors.