It’s no secret that Facebook’s entire business model is built on gathering our data. The social media giant has even assigned a dollar figure to every user on its platform for the information we share. However, a new study aimed to find out what this information is worth to the users themselves.
The Tech Policy Institute (TPI) conducted the survey across six countries, including the U.S. It asked Facebook users how much the company would have to pay them to disclose their information to third parties. Respondents said the highest-value data was their bank account balance, and that Facebook would need to pay an average of $8.44 a month for that information. Private texts were worth an average of $6.05 a month, biometric data was worth $7.56, and location information was just $1.82. However, the figures varied widely by country.
“Quantifying the value of privacy is necessary for conducting any analysis of proposed privacy policies,” TPI president Scott Wallsten said. “Differences in how much people value privacy of different data types across countries suggests that people in some places may prefer weaker rules while people in other places might prefer stronger rules.”
While it’s a good thing that this study got Facebook users thinking more about the ways in which the company takes advantage of our info, these values are still distressingly low. Privacy, it seems, isn’t worth very much.
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