At Least Get a Sandwich

Tonight I have seen ads from two entirely distinct restaurant chains offering a free sandwich in exchange for your personal information.

I’m all right with that. Your info is yours to sell. Just be sure you understand the transaction. And here at least, you can establish a concrete value for your personal information. One sandwich.

So every time you give your information out, ask yourself: Am I at least getting a sandwich?

When you fill out an online quiz, are you getting a sandwich? When you sign up for notifications, are you getting a sandwich? When you send email to someone with a gmail address, are you getting a sandwich? If you use a gmail email account, are you getting a sandwich for every email you send or receive?

Google gives no sandwiches. Google pays you nothing for your personal data, and despite legislation in Europe and California, is skating around your ability to force them to delete your data. Facebook, also. All the social media assholes. They make three sandwiches of profit off you, but give you no sandwiches.

What is called for is a data marketplace, where your information is yours to sell, and you can negotiate terms. The cornerstone of that is that your personal information is NOT something someone else can sell.