Recent research published by Raconteur reveals that, around the world each day, 500m tweets are posted and 294bn emails are sent (sources: Twitter, Radicati Group). Altogether in 2020, the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes (source: PwC). Unsurprisingly, there is growing space for companies to help people better comprehend the amount of data they are producing each day, its potential value in currency terms, as well as their own behavioural patterns.
Shaping this new value economy is Datacoup. Dubbed ‘the world’s first personal data marketplace’, it works in a similar vein to OzoneAI by empowering users to sell anonymous data for cash. Its USP, however, is that it pulls together data shared or collected by users’ mobile apps – for example, their spending habits, Instagram likes and places they visit – in one place. With this information, Datacoup builds a profile for each user that shows off his or her data value. Users can then redeem money earned – from £3.83 ($5, €4.49) to £19.17 ($25, €22.45) – when their data is purchased by a company.
In a bid to create a more positive balance between people and businesses that use their data, the CitizenMe app simplifies data-sharing and market research, working with companies such as Wolff Olins, OMD and International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) to broker data. Its colourful dashboard gives users the option to ‘donate’ data to charities, earn money in exchange for opinions and better understand their own personality traits – and the appeal of their data footprint for organisations – through simple graphs.
Elsewhere, the growing data commerce market is empowering citizens by giving them the control to share data in order to positively shape their cities and local public services. Francesca Bria, the city of Barcelona’s chief technology and digital innovation officer, is the driving force behind the Decode project, one initiative giving communities the power to share information for the public good.
The project, piloted in Amsterdam and Barcelona, lets citizens decide what they want to keep private, share, with whom and on what basis. Through this, Decode hopes to inspire innovators, start-ups, NGOs, cooperatives and local communities to use the shared data to build apps and services that respond to their needs and those of the wider community. Among its pilot projects was a data-collecting platform for Barcelonans, allowing them to anonymously monitor temperature, noise and pollution on their homes’ balconies, and let the data be collected, analysed and shared through the Decode’s BCNNow platform.
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