It is time to take back control of your data! (…and monetize it)

datawallet monetize data

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Airbnb, Amazon & co. We use online platforms and services all the time. Some more frequent than others. Some for social purposes, others for commercial ones. But what all these platforms have in common: they collect user data. (And we produce a lot of it, up to 2.5 quintillion bytes per day!) It starts with name, email, age, address and goes up to and beyond interests, daily habits, purchasing habits, personal likes and dislikes. Companies use this information to optimize their services, improve their products and for direct monetization purposes. These include showing you relevant ads and selling your data to 3rd parties.

“If you’re not paying for it, you are the product”

A lot of people say they don’t mind. Others revolt and request changes in the terms of use or post messages declaring that the data is owned by them and can’t be used by the platform they posted it on (see ). Either way, these companies make money off your data, if you like it or not.

The question is, is this a future safe business model? Will users not want to take control of their data and monetize it themselves?

Some companies, including Google, are testing alternatives. In November 2014, Google launched an ‘ad-free net experience’. Here users could pay a monthly fee between 1 and 3 USD for ad-free sites. In this case your data is not used ‘against’ you, and revenues come from direct payments by the user.  But you have to pay for it!

New startups are looking at ways to turn this trend around. One example is DataWallet. The startup lets you connect all your online accounts, including Facebook, Amazon and Twitter, to a DataWallet account. It then extracts all user data accumulated by the platforms you use, anonymizes it and then sells it to companies. You are put in control of your data. And can monetize it.

Check it out here:

Make sure you sign up and give it a try! They’ve got your data why not try and make a buck with it?

What do you think, Is this the future? Will we soon have full control of the data we produce online, with the ability to monetize it ourselves? Or will it only run parallel to the current, existing business model?

by Martin Kayser (353884mk)


BBC News, (2015). Google launches ad-free net experiment – BBC News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015].

DataWallet, (2015). DataWallet FAQ. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015].

Goodson, S. (2012). If You’re Not Paying For It, You Become The Product. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015].

Ha, A. (2015). Backed By Tim Draper, DataWallet Pays Users To Share Their Online Data With Businesses. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015]., (2015). IBM – What is big data?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015].

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