Internet users have by now come to accept the common transaction of trading personal data for free services, and companies around the world are trying to figure out how to price the data they extract.
In Europe, at least, people seem to think they’re being ripped off. “There is a perceived imbalance within the data-sharing relationship, with two-thirds of consumers believing that organizations benefit the most from the sharing of data—just 6% think that the consumer benefits the most,” according to a recent report from Orange, a large telecoms firm that commissioned a survey to find out how much Europeans think their personal data is worth.
On average, consumers across the four countries surveyed—Britain, France, Spain, and Poland—believe they should get back nearly £13 ($21) in value for each piece of information they share with a familiar company. For unfamiliar companies, that rises to just over £15, or nearly $25. In other words, they would expect 20% more for parting with information to companies they don’t already trust.
Notably, Europeans value information related to friends and family—such as their friends’ preferences and email addresses—as highly as their own most personal data, including their income and mobile number.
Among the countries surveyed, the Poles valued their personal information the highest, and the French the lowest. With the exception of the French, the total amount consumers think they should be paid for the various types of data surveyed adds up to well over $200.