User Data = 2 x Video

Anyone still in doubt whether user data is valuable? Take a look at the news and learn: User data is worth the double of what Google paid for YouTube –– Google just bought DoubleClick for USD 3.1 bn.

The revenue stream of DoubleClick looks moderate compared to what Google just paid. But, do not worry, Google will get the money back. Why? First, because Google can now combine its own data and with DoubleClick’s services. Also the range of offers for advertising customers will grow. Third, because competitors could not make the deal: A part of the highest purchase price Google ever spent is the premium needed for not letting competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo buy the ad-company.

The stock price declined a bit, likely because some say it is a too high price. The general impression, however, remains: with improving technology data is growing more and more valuable for companies.

So one might wonder why there is still not enough pressure to introduce baseline privacy regulations in the U.S. The answer: giving away my data doesn't cost me a thing, also I could not earn any money by selling my data. Isolated, my data is almost worthless. Data only gets valuable after it has been linked to other data. The only argument for a higher data protection thus is the risk of leakages and security breaches. But despite stories about improper treatment of personally identifiable data like this there is no tendency for a baseline privacy law in the U.S.

Instead, the U.S. rely on the protection provided by Privacy Policies. And sometimes, a competitor gets sanctioned, like Xanga whose data collection practices violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and were not accurately reflected in the company's Privacy Policy. So, the existing mechanisms might provide for some control. What the existing regulations do not control, however, is the amount of data which is collected and stored. There is reason to feel uncomfortable.

Add new comment