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.
About the Author
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others. Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy. Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.