I was involved in the recent Financial Times Innovate event in London. A recurring theme was the notion that data is the new currency of the digital economy. This raises some questions:
- Who actually owns the currency?
- How will it be monetised?
- What impact does this have for enterprises and governments?
We all walk around with a data shadow as we conduct more and more of our life digitally. As we embrace wearables we will develop the equivalent of a digital comet tail.
Traditionally this data is owned by:
- The enterprises we transact with.
- The fitness platforms with which we synch our (quantified-self) data.
- The social media sites on which we share our insights, trivia and gossip.
Traditionally they use this data to make better business decisions either based on aggregating the data or zooming in on your data deposit.
That is likely to change. As consumers become more aware of their digital comet tail and its market value they will push to own it. A court case or two will settle the matter. And from that point on personal data will be currency that the consumers / citizens can sell to merchants and governments.
This will throw the world of data, big or otherwise, on its head. It will upend enterprise architectures as CRM systems have to be reengineered to reflect the reality that the acquisition of customer data is not a given, and where it is granted what is the cost of its acquisition.
And how will this ‘many to many’ data-frenzy work? Data brokerages? And how will it be priced?
When will I be able to buy options on your securitised data?
The digital economy is more than just the industrial era with better technology.