Our data is valuable. Each year, it generates hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of economic activity, mostly between and within corporations — all on the back of information about each of us.
It’s this transaction — between you, the user, giving up details of yourself to a company in exchange for a product like a photo app or email, or a whole ecosystem like Facebook — that’s worth by some estimates $1,000 per person per year, a number that is quickly rising.
The value of our personal data is primarily locked up in the revenues of large corporations. Some, like data brokerages, exist solely to buy and sell sets of that data.