How Valuable Is Your Data?
Many people aren’t aware that the online data that can be collected about them is highly valuable. Both hackers and companies can use it to make a lot of money. But how do they do this? Let’s look at some of the most common ways that people profit from your data.
First, let’s discuss what kind of data is available. Data can include things like your name, address and phone number. However, it can also include important documents like your birth certificate and drivers’ licence. The term data also encompasses financial information like bank account details and spending history. It also refers to things like your hobbies, interests and political views. Basically, any information about your life can be considered data. Now that we understand what your data is, let’s look at how it can be used.
Many websites run advertisements on their site. When you go to their sites, they make money when you click on one of the ads. The amount they make depends on things like the provider and the ad category. For example, if the ad is about legal services and they are using Google AdWords, they might make as much as $50. To these companies, your data is very valuable. They use it to make sure that the ads are for things that you will find interesting, increasing the chances that you will click. With advertising revenue being around $83 billion in the United States in 2017, the rewards for these companies could be huge. Another group that uses your personal data to make money is hackers.
Hackers illegally steal your private data, which they then sell on the dark web to other hackers. Depending on what information they can steal, they might be potentially making a lot of money from your data. For example, they can sell the details of your Netflix password for around $3 on the dark web. They might be able to sell your driver’s licence information for around $20. However, the biggest money comes with selling bank details. They can sell the banking information of an account with over $15,000 in it for around $1,000. Another group that profits from your personal information is credit score companies.
Your credit score is a number that lenders use to decide whether to give you money. To generate this number, credit score companies need to analyze a lot of your data to decide how financially responsible you are. For example, information like how much money you have, where you spend it and how much you spend all need to be considered. This is a very profitable business with major companies like Experian making around $4.5 billion dollars in 2016. In fact, on average credit score companies make around $10 per American each year.
It’s estimated that people use data to make between $2000 and $3000 from every American each year. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how they use your data to make money and how valuable your personal data really is.