We at VPN Surf hold the belief that personal data should stay private. Unfortunately, we live in the world where corporations and cybercriminals are attempting to collect as much personal data as possible and they are not shy to pay a good buck for it. Most of the time it is for commercial reasons, however there are cases where this has been done for personal reasons such as identity theft.
So How Much Is Personal Information Worth?
This is quite a hard question to answer; there are simply too many variables in place. The biggest factor that contributes to users’ data price most often depends on who’s buying it and for which purpose. The second biggest thing affecting the cost of data is what kind of person it is about. A celebrity’s personal information is definitely more valuable than that of Joe living down the street from you.
Here are some examples of prices of stolen data that can be sold on the dark web:
- Passports: $1000 – $2000
- Medical Records: $1 - $1000
- Diplomas: $100 - $400
- Online payment services credentials: $20 - $200
- Credit and debit cards: $5 - $100
What About Legal Data Collection?
Everyone has heard of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica fiasco in 2018. Why did Facebook allow such a stunt to happen, knowing the extent of the public relations disaster it would bring them? How much is a user’s personal data worth to Facebook? Here are some estimates that Investopedia was able to muster.
The data of an average American is worth between 20 and 40 cents. That seems like such an insignificant amount, so why did the multibillion-dollar corporation take this risk? Taking into account that Facebook has approximately 190 million American users, they can make anywhere between $38 and $76 million from selling the users’ data. Also let’s not forget that the social network has 2.2 billion users worldwide. We can only speculate how much money they make from selling everyone’s data.
Why Sell this Data?
The simple answer is targeted ads. Advertisers are paying astronomical amounts of money to have their ads shown to millions of people at a time. If the people see that see these ads are not interested in the products displayed, all this money goes to waste in the advertisers’ eyes.
In order to be more efficient with their advertisements, advertisers want to know as much information as possible about the people viewing the ads so they can tailor them specifically for the demographics most likely to buy the product. This is exactly why Facebook and Google and countless other companies sell your personal data.
We at VPN Surf keep no logs of our user’s browsing habits and retain only the information necessary to provide our services. This retained information is never shared with anyone.
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