Analysis: Digital Privacy Comes at a Price. Here’s How To Protect It
The world is more wired than ever. Digital networks connect everything from office computers and bank accounts to baby monitors and pacemakers. Connectivity is blurring the lines between what is public and private. Privacies usually taken for granted – from web searches to heart-beats – are being steadily exploited in exchange for frictionless convenience. Meanwhile, personal data is being compromised, stolen and leaked with disturbing regularity. Promises made by cyber security companies of enhanced data privacy and protection ring hollow.
Most people do not consciously put a price on their online privacy. But what if they did? A 2020 survey of Argentinians, Brazilians, Colombians, Mexicans, Germans and US citizens did precisely this. The Technology Policy Institute, a think tank, asked respondents how much a company would have to pay them each month to disclose various types of personal data. While the exact amounts varied across countries and categories – with Germans charging the most and US residents the least – the average came out to a surprisingly affordable $10, or $120 a year.
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