In five years time we (individuals and citizens) will be ‘paid’ for the data that we contribute into the digital economy via the devices and sensors we carry and interact with as we go about our daily business. Data about our location, our content consumption, our transactions, our preferences, our interactions, our health. As producers of this new economic asset we will start to get remunerated.
This is starting to happen already, with insurance pricing adjusted in real time to match our actual driving behaviour and telcos offering us discounts if we let them access more of our valuable personal data.
Today we get ‘free’ services from internet companies who make money by selling on our data to advertisers. In the future, we are more in control, the system is more transparent and we benefit from a greater and fairer value exchange. We will get paid not only with discounts and credits but also with hard cash. Even the government offers to reduce our taxes if we contribute more of our personal data into the smart digital systems that increasingly run our cities, our health and our lives.
If a single Facebook like is worth up to $1.86 today in some markets, what is the value of real-time personal data in reducing healthcare costs, anticipating security threats, helping traffic flow freely, synchronising supply chains, or curtailing the spread of epidemics?
Simon Torrance, CEO, Metaflight; Member, Data For Development programme, World Economic Forum