40% don't realise Facebook sells their data

News by SC Staff

Some 40 percent of respondents to a recent survey did not know that Facebook sold their data, and half said they would quit if it did. People value their privacy - a lot higher than the market does.

We all know that thieves are stealing and monetising our data, either by reselling or utilising for scams.  And most of us know that our privacy is also compromised by commercial companies, particularly social media organisations who are also selling our data – mostly for advertising/ marketing. 

But a huge 40 percent did not realise that social media company Facebook is selling their details according to a 1,000 person survey by TotalMoney. In fact half those surveyed said they would leave Facebook if it did so, and 60 percent of 18 to 24 year olds said they would leave. If this were replicated across the 30 million UK Facebook users, a quarter of the UK population would quit the service if they understood it better. This suggests vast ignorance as to the terms that people actually sign up to when joining social media, and an equally large gulf between people's understanding of what privacy protections these organisations provide, and what they actually receive.

In addition, the survey found that almost all of us vastly overestimate how much the data about us is worth, not appreciating the widespread availability of our data. 

This survey says that consumers value their data at £2,031 but companies only pay around 45p for most of a users information – just 0.22 percent of what most of us estimate that it is worth. 

The company offers a calculator inviting users to name their sell price for 13 different data types including email address, browsing history and exact GPS location. Then it shows them their current market worth.  The 18-24 year olds value their data the most and men value it higher than women. 

Other findings show that:

·   UK consumers value their email address at £983 whereas companies buy it for 5p

·   Men value their browsing data at £10,57 compare to its market value of £0.0014. They valued it 29 percent higher than women.

·   1 in 10 People would buy data on a Friend. They would pay £220 For a Friend's Personal Information

It seems that in theory we value our privacy, but that value is not reflected in the effort we put into protecting it, hence its actual market value is so disportionately lower than we might estimate its worth to others.

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