Consumers would sell personal information for a price

Consumers crave privacy, but do not typically alter actions to protect themselves, according to a global study conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

A slight majority of consumers believe the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) outweigh privacy concerns. However, 75 percent feel they do not have any control over their personal information. In addition, the research compares consumers’ perceptions on privacy, their willingness to change behavior and the perceived value of their personal information.

“These comprehensive findings show that, while consumers seem to be concerned about privacy and security, they do not fully grasp the role they play – regardless of where they live,” said Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro.

“At the same time, the majority who identify themselves as “privacy sensitive’ will not change their behavior or information sharing practices even if they experience a data breach. This could be attributed to a feeling of powerlessness or an overall lack of awareness. It’s clear that more attention is needed to protect privacy and security on a personal basis. Fortunately, there are a myriad of resources available to help individuals learn how to protect themselves,” Genes added.

“Privacy is considered to be an individual’s right to keep sensitive and confidential information from becoming known, unless he or she wants the information to be revealed,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.

“We found it surprising that most consumers would be willing to provide companies information such as gender, name, purchase habits, and even their health condition and log in credentials, if they were compensated. When prompted, they are even able to put a price tag to their personal information, with compensation varying from $2.90 to $75.80,” added Ponemon.

While there are regional differences in how much value is attributed to each piece of information, respondents believe that, on average, one piece of data is worth $19.60. The most expensive prices include:

  • Passwords – $75.80
  • Health conditions – $59.80
  • Payment details – $36
  • Credit history – $29.20
  • Purchase habits – $20.60.

The cheapest pieces of data include:

  • Gender – $2.90
  • Name – $3.90
  • Phone number – $5.90.

The report encompasses responses from 1,903 individuals in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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