Ten years from now, what mechanisms do you think will exist for people to sell data about themselves?After all, long ago, land, water and in many cases labor, used to be free, until systems were developed to buy and sell them.And, we already “sell” our data (even though we don’t think of it that way) when we use Facebook, Credit Karma, TripAdvisor, and thousands of other services. The services are free, but in return, they collect our data, share our reviews and content with other people, and harvest data about the choices we make.

We already sell our data (even though we don't think of it that way) when we use Facebook, Credit Karma, TripAdvisor, and thousands of other services. The services are free, but in return, they collect our data, share our reviews and… Click To Tweet

I’m thinking not only about data that would be used to sell me things, but also about data to power “collective intelligence” (like when Google Maps uses data from cell phones to know where the traffic is).

The ways data is collected, bought and sold will evolve quickly over the next few years. The question is how.

I’m interested in getting feedback from the Linkedin community about some things I’ve been wondering about:

– What mechanisms will exist for me to buy and sell my data?

– How much will data about my likes, dislikes, past purchases, purchase criteria, wealth, income, family status, and living situation be worth? ($100 per year? 10,000?)

– What about the data from the sensors in my car, home, office, etc? (for example, insurance companies using sensor data to decide how to price my car insurance, or car salespeople looking at my driving behavior, and realizing that if they could just get me to test drive a high performance sports car, I would probably buy it).

– How will the value of my data depend on how much of a big spender I am, how susceptible to advertising I am and how price sensitive I am?

– How will systems to validate data quality evolve? How will the value of my data depend on how accurate and entertaining my reviews are, and how useful other people find my content?

– How will we sort out the ethical questions related to being paid for reviews and referrals?

– Might there be “unions” to do some form of collective bargaining, to make sure people get paid a reasonable price for the data they are providing?

– Will cars be free someday, so long as we make our data available? (you can already get a “free” car if you agree to a big advertisement on the side). What about homes? (watch the fascinating Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show, before discounting this idea)

– What new forms of “vaults” will exist to keep our data safe, and to enable us to lock and unlock pieces of it?

Please share this article with others you know who would have insightful ideas on these questions – thanks very much!

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Amanda Setili, author of Fearless Growth: The New Rules to Stay Competitive, Foster Innovation, and Dominate Your Markets, and The Agility Advantage, How to Identify and Act On Opportunities in a Fast-Changing World is president of strategy consulting firm Setili & Associates.

For more strategies, videos and free materials, please visit www.setiliconsulting.com. Or, contact Amanda at Amanda@Setili.com to discuss how she works with companies to improve profits, performance and growth.