Putting a Value on User Data

The Atlantic has a brief but excellent analysis of the economic value of an internet user’s data; see here. This is important – a lot of business models, and hence valuations of businesses, are dependent on the successful exploitation of data gathered about internet users. However, the article also points out a possible idiosyncrasy of human nature that may encourage businesses to erode customer privacy. Put simply, customers may put less value on protecting their personal information if they think businesses will obtain it anyway. Time will tell if commercial drivers will necessarily result in more and more private information being revealed about all of us. If it does, the companies gathering and managing that data might think themselves better off, but that is not assured – where customers do not act to protect themselves, governments have a habit of intervening.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Director of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.