Have you ever thought that your data could be currency?

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The amount of data we have is growing rapidly by the minute: new messages are constantly appearing in mailboxes, photos are growing on smartphones, we are publishing new posts on social networks … Have you ever tried to estimate how large this collection is or how much financial value it may have? Perhaps, before answering this question, you need to think about whether you would be willing to give up your details in exchange for something. This is what we wanted to check, so we opened a special store in London.

A shop that doesn’t accept money

As Kaspersky Lab, we wanted to know the answers to the above questions – not for ourselves, but also for other people. We decided to open the Data Dollar Store  – the first temporary store where you could pay for goods only with your data. We named our currency „Date Dollar”. On September 6 and 7, we sold T-shirts, mugs and posters in Shoreditch, London, which were designed by street artist Ben Eine for the occasion.

A difficult decision

Who wouldn’t want to get designer goods without paying real money for it? Initially, many customers were clearly excited about this information. However, things got complicated when they found out that, in return, they had to share private WhatsApp conversations or photos that would be publicly displayed in the store for two days. However, the offer to get something special without paying with real money was very tempting for many and the decision was a really difficult choice.

What’s the real price?

In fact, we all make this choice relatively often, but we don’t notice it. We subscribe to services that collect our data, process it and sell it, offering us access to a social network or videos watched on demand. We usually don’t even read the terms of the contract and we are happy to share our private information with anyone. In the Data Dollar Store experiment, we wanted to raise awareness of this phenomenon, exaggerating it significantly.

The most important fact here is that the data is of the value its owner estimates. Give your privacy and personal information a high enough price and secure it properly so that it has a chance of survival in the future.