Personal Data Value Calculator: A State-by-State Breakdown
Data is as good as gold these days, and Americans are creating a lot more of it than they probably realize. In 2020, for example, the typical person is estimated to have created 1.7 megabytes of data every second of every day.
It’s also extremely valuable, and many companies are willing to shell out billions to get their hands on it. Using this data to help brands target potential customers is the bread and butter of companies like Google and Meta, after all. The collection and sale of personal or consumer data has even given rise to an entire industry of data brokers, which is itself worth hundreds of billions of dollarsand includes companies such as Experian and Spokeo.
In short: Your data is valuable. So at what price would the typical person be willing to sell it, if they could, for example, put it up for auction?
We have a ballpark figure: the average US buyer would be willing to sell their personal data for $1,452.25, according to survey data from CouponBirds, a coupon and consumer information website.
The survey included responses from over 3,500 consumers in the United States, and the CouponBirds team was also able to break down the data by state. They found that Colorado residents would hypothetically charge the most for their personal data, at over $2,800. Conversely, residents of Tennessee charge the least: $623.04.
From this dataset, here are the states where people would most and least ask for their personal data, if it were hypothetically to be auctioned off:
States with highest values:
- 1. Colorado: $2,820.67
- 2. Nebraska: $2,784.75
- 3. Wyoming: $2,347.33
- 4. Minnesota: $2,202.55
- 5. Oklahoma: $2,016.00
States with lowest values:
- 50. Tennessee: $623.04
- 49. Idaho: $742.30
- 48. Michigan: $801.17
- 47. Mississippi: $866.43
- 46. Utah: $919.75
Clearly, states in parts of the West and Midwest place a high value on their data, which seems to align with rooting sense of individualism in these parts of the country. But this raises another key question: how should Americans value their personal data? While few if any people actually have the choice of handing over their data for cash, it does change hands. Is $1,450 a fair price?
It depends, and maybe impossible to say. Some people’s data is worth more than others. Men’s personal data tends to be more valuable, for example, according to a Analysis 2020 from Mackeeper, and data from young adults (aged 18-24) is the most popular.
There has also been research into what people should be paid to stop using online services like search engines or social networks, which in effect act as data vacuums. It would take more … than $17,500 a year to get the average person to stop using Google, and more … than $500 a year to get them to deactivate their Facebook account.
For those who want to get completely out of the mad dash of Big Data, there’s not much you can do. Data brokers operate in a largely unregulated space, and fighting back would take a lot of effort. But the key to remember is to know that your data is available, it has value, and it’s probably more valuable than you think. And, again, whoever has it can do almost anything they want with it, without letting you know.
“Under the law, anyone can do just about anything with your data,” said Bennett Cyphers, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently. fast company. “And they don’t have to tell anyone about it.”