Private Benjamins

How to Sell Your Personal Information To Make Money

August 9, 2016

 

hundred dollar bill

Is it possible to make money by selling my personal information and habits online? With the internet of things arriving soon, will there be an ever increasing number of eavesdropping devices in my private domain that I can cash in on, or will corporations continue to strip my privacy for an exchange of services?

It was indeed a Black Monday, years ago, when I read that Google could be scanning my (free) Gmail account to show me targeted ads, or worse, selling my private information to third parties. I couldn’t believe it! I was so appalled that my first thought was to head straight for a hole in the side of a mountain and drop completely off the 'grid' for the rest of my Bourne days. However, knowing my cell phone coverage would likely be spotty, I caved in a different way. I gave up trying to hide my privacy.

My new motto became “why fight the tide and what do I have to hide?” What was I worried about anyway? If I had my identity stolen, it would probably damage their credit. If hackers got into my address book, they might just leave a note saying, "How sad!".

So, I posted my picture on Facebook, and gave Apple the name of my first pet and second-grade teacher. Now, I never hesitate to provide my most intimate secrets in exchange for free apps, services or discounts. Have I given up my personal data too easily? Perhaps. How much is your private information worth to you?

Below are the links to articles and web sites I found about protecting online privacy and making money by selling my personal information.