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The Monetization of Privacy – Birth of a “Trust Economy”

Trust will be the most highly valued currency in a globally connected world. Those companies that earn their customers trust will be able to add significant value and at the same time monetize the data. It won’t be easy to accomplish but it all starts with understanding who owns the data.

The Facebook IPO finally happened last week and so did a new era for all Internet companies and the topic of privacy.  Facebook and others will have to increase their focus on growing their revenues to meet street expectations, and in the process, they will have to continue to innovate and monetize user information.   The concept of collecting and selling user information is not new, and as a matter of fact, retail stores like supermarkets have been doing this for years.  Every time you use your supermarket loyalty card, you are trading off privacy for coupons and discounts. As the article below points out, companies that collect information from places like supermarkets know about your religion, what books you read, how much education you have, your income and even your health condition, based on your supermarket shopping habits.  Literally, to buy adult diapers, you can be marked by these consumer information collection groups as someone who has a bladder-control problem.

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