What is the true value of data ownership

At beginning of this month, I’ve installed some data collection apps on my laptop within my mind to gain a better understanding of value, in particular the value of my personal data...

At beginning of this month, I’ve installed some data collection apps on my laptop within my mind to gain a better understanding of value, in particular the value of my personal data.

It’s almost the end of the month, twenty-seven days have passed since I installed a few monetization apps on my laptop. On this date, I can say what iùm about to say: two out of three were already uninstalled. Both are claiming to pay for my CPU processing time, what in reality, I am the one paying to them for the usage of own my CPU when all energy costs equated into the financials. Those are simply OFF.

The third app is claiming to pay somewhere between $10 and $20 per month for a regular internet user.

It feels like abuse to be honest, but the fact is, I don’t have to do absolutely anything. It simply runs in the background and consumes, daily, a few hundred MB to upload data, and in the “spirit“ of learning some more, meanings of a PIP (see my previous article here), I decided to let my fears behind and give it a try.


Mind you, there are some privacy concerns here, due to the lack of transparency of data analyzed and data being uploaded. That said, you can give it a try here. It’s called HoneyGain.


At the end of the month, this app is showing me a total amount due to be paid in the ballpark of $1 for data upwards of 7GB of personal anonymized data uploaded to the cloud.

To sum up and end this one-month experience, the App makes payment with minimum amounts of $20. Everyone knows I use the computer connected to the internet all day, and many times evenings and night. At this rate, I need 20 months or almost 2 years to get my first payment. That just doesn´t work. I need payments and I need them by tomorrow. This is how the internet is and works.

Furthermore, the paper “The Megawatts behind Your Megabytes: Going from Data-Center to Desktop” by David Costenaro and Anthony Duer, published by EnerNOC Utility Solutions, states the end-user consumes 1.9kWh of energy per Gb of data uploaded or downloaded from the network.

In Belgium, the costs per kWh used are around 22 cents (including 21% VAT). One kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity costs a consumer 'bare' about 7 cents including VAT. This price differs per supplier. In addition, there are fixed rates for energy tax + sustainable energy storage (approx. 15 cents per kWh). For a 7Gb of data, it translates into $1.54 per month. Which is 54% more than what I get paid. Of course, for those on an unlimited internet plan, this last “economics” fact makes little difference, especially if you´re at the computer using the internet. But still is a reminder, to this date, data ownership as stated on the GDPR is in need of some higher valuation to be a “good idea“ to sell my “private“ data.

An insightful Friday to all.

Until next time, don’t forget to share, and if possible, subscribe for fairness1 of work and a fairer economy, or instead buy me a coffee and promote at the same time open source writing.

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This article took me about 2h to write and one month of monitoring experimental data. small reviews were made to the text.