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A Momentary Flow

Evolving Worldviews

Here’s a job title made for the information age: personal data broker. Today, people have no choice but to give away their personal information—sometimes in exchange for free networking on Twitter or searching on Google, but other times to third-party data-aggregation firms without realizing it at all. “There’s an immense amount of value in data about people,” says Bernardo Huberman, senior fellow at HP Labs. “That data is being collected all the time. Anytime you turn on your computer, anytime you buy something.” Huberman, who directs HP Labs’ Social Computing Research Group, has come up with an alternative—a marketplace for personal information—that would give individuals control of and compensation for the private tidbits they share, rather than putting it all in the hands of companies. In a paper posted online last week, Huberman and coauthor Christina Aperjis propose something akin to a New York Stock Exchange for personal data. A trusted market operator could take a small cut of each transaction and help arrive at a realistic price for a sale.

A Stock Exchange for Your Personal Data - Technology Review