According to a research report by Bruegel, by 2020, our personal data would all be worth 330 billion Euro annually.
Imagine if consumers got at least a portion of that value back directly from the businesses and other organizations that need the data?
That long-term vision for data evolution is why Datum has started partnering with laptop manufacturers and OEMs, to embed the Datum app into the computers they sell and give consumers and manufacturers the chance to benefit financially.
Several years ago, there was an idea to put up brand stickers on laptop lids and pay the users a monthly fee. Sort of like a walking billboard, this would help cover the cost of the laptop purchase, plus it would provide added brand exposure. At the time, it sounded like a good idea to earn money from a personal asset. After all, we already slap on stickers onto our laptop lids. Why not get some money from the brands in exchange?
The idea didn’t take off. However, the fact that your computer usage could become a personal revenue stream isn’t far from reality. Every time we use our laptops to browse the web, access our email, get into social networks or play games, we generate valuable data that can be monetized.
On average, each person generates around $2,000 worth of personal data every year. If monetized, that would pay for a new, high-end notebook every year, with some spare change for accessories.
Today, personal data is captured and monetized by the companies that give offer “free” access to their services: Google, Facebook, Twitter and all the online and mobile services we use daily.
These companies earn by aggregating usage data. They sell these in the form of targeted advertisement and commercial messages back to those they have collected the data from.
One of Datum’s strategies is to ensure that its technology reaches the right users is by partnering with the big companies. For example, we are working with several major OEM manufacturers to embed Datum in the computers they sell.
In exchange, users can either directly monetize their usage data from a monthly earning program managed by the laptop manufacturer. Or, as an alternative, they get an outright discount (whilst the OEM gets their share of monetization through this data).
It’s no different to having an operating system embedded in your laptop. Users can also be given an option to participate more actively – such as by playing games or using certain apps, which can help in keeping track of their usage and habits.
Users can also get discounts or freebies on additional equipment or apps such as games. It’s a win-win situation.
With a monthly earning program, it could be possible to cover the purchase cost of the laptop within a span of two years or so – reasonable enough given the life expectancy of most consumer electronic devices today.
On average, we actively use our smartphones for around 3 to 5 hours on a daily basis. In fact, on a daily basis, we spend on average more time on our electronic devices (8 hours and 41 minutes) than we spend time sleeping (8 hours and 21 minutes).
Laptops and other devices are already an integral part of our daily lives. And instead of simply using them and, perhaps earning from our work, on an active basis, we should also be thinking about we can earn from these devices on a passive basis.
These are small steps toward what Datum hopes to be a data evolution. Its vision is that someday, all devices would enable users to earn from their own usage in one form or another.