Valuing Personal Data is Like a Market
A paradigm shift in thinking is upon us... We'll elaborate at Personal Data Week.
After another talk at a law firm recently, I heard multiple attorneys repeat what is thought to be common knowledge about data. They stated that data is a depreciating asset that "loses nearly all of its value after it is created".
It would help is lawyers thought like financial markets economists. And it is a physical fact that all value exchanged has more than 2 influencers. The best example I can give people to understand the dynamism of data is to reference the most awesome creation of humankind: the markets. That stated, if we're looking to track our value through the exchange of data, we have to understand what value is.
Take for instance, the emergence of Ransomware-As-A-Service (RaaS) which is derived from software-as-a-service (SaaS) meaning an on-demand use of software. Ransomware is software that allows an interested party to take control of or influence hardware/software that would be otherwise be controlled by another owner influencer. The people who deploy RaaS are putting a 3rd party value on data that would normally be owned by other entities (individuals or institutions).
The ideal that a price of a bit of data is the price that a seller will sell versus the price that a buyer will buy for is based on the old point-of-view on data, that, it is copy... with the same rights as a copyright. Data gathering has evolved, as everything in the known world is being documented as a data point. It is greater than copy, and cannot be guided by copyright ideals. Hackers or other actors are the equivalent of arbitrageurs of sorts in the financial markets.
Until we all acknowledge the dynamic nature of data in the form of a market with all of the necessary infrastructure to regulate protect scale and insure its integrity, we will continue be unable to distribute the value that is trapped in our data points.
Data is three dimensional. At every point of its known existence, meaning that its existence is public for people to interpret that state of existence, it has at least 3 actors at every moment whether directly or indirectly. The truth is that our data is influenced not only by a single actor's interpretation of our data and its value, but many. The most awesome truth about markets is that they will create themselves based on supply and demand, even within closed systems. The great benefit for all people is that a market can exist to validate everyones value and even the threats/certainty to that value.