“A value is valuable when the value of value is valuable to oneself.” – Dayananda Saraswati
Though this may have been said by the great social leader in the context of societal, cultural and philosophical realities of the 1800s, it is applicable to our current conundrum of personal data and how we treat it.
The basic premise is, that if personal data is valuable (which it is), then it must have value. And if it does have value, one must be able to agree on what that value is. The masses, intellectuals, and policymakers are clamoring for regulation, control and ground rules – based on the premise that organizations, social media giants and internet companies are taking something which is ours and making money from it, without sharing the proceeds or the benefits.
But if we don’t know how much our personal data is worth, how do we determine what is being taken away from us… or what we are due?
This, it turns out, is a simple question, with a complicated set of answers.