Consumers Sell Personal Data, Knowing Exactly How It Will Be Used

WM Circle Logo

By: Kelly Shermach |

Posted on March 9, 2018

I took the SAT for the first time in sixth grade, to test into a selective extracurricular program. When the results came, my mother reviewed them, then secreted the paperwork away in the locked file cabinet she kept in her bedroom. I asked what I’d scored. She said that was personal information. I was the person to which the information referred, but my mother wasn’t keen to share what she knew.

By Kelly Shermach

Marketers make the same move as a regular business practice, and with the expansion of digital channels and data science, they have ample access to consumer data, enabling them to personalize product and service offers. Data-driven marketing yields higher responses than one-size-fits-all executions, but consumers have reason to shudder at the approach. Their social media posts and mobile device locations, not to mention data from Acxiom, Experian and the like, trigger savvy marketers who may need to show more sensitivity and transparency in their data collection and use.

Wibson.org has developed a technology protocol and mobile application through which consumers can receive requests for personal data, then sell it to marketers and researchers.

The decentralized exchange operated through blockchain technology will deliver accurate data, validated by platform partners.

“Blockchain provides for communication and contracts between data buyers and sellers,” says Mat Travizano, Wibson.org founder and CEO. “Once a user accepts an offer to purchase access to their data, the user’s data is transferred from the device directly to the buyer.”

The buyer also will pay out some of the profits that data can generate to the people it describes. According to a recent story in the New York Times, the median household is due $20,000 annually for the data it produces that is used by marketers, product development, artificial intelligence training and more. Wibson transactions will built booties of Wibcoins, a proprietary currency that can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

“This is a big change in the way marketers build profiles today. The marketer will have access to higher quality data,” Travizano says, “and Wibson will provide access to characteristics that were, for many marketers, unavailable previously, even if they were working through the biggest advertising platforms.”

In the alpha phase, only Wibson and academics are buying data. But later this year, marketers will join, defining their desired audiences, intended data use and compensation for relevant data.

Kelly Shermach is a Business Reporter at The Wise Marketer