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Thursday, June 7, 2012

University Will Reveal Value of Personal Details

Special Android application will intrude on privacy on a daily basis. London’s Queen Mary University decided to carry out a research into how people value their own personal information. Within the frames of this research, the volunteers agreed to install a free Android application on their mobiles.

At first, this application will ask the volunteers some basic information about their background. Later, it will ask for more details every day over the next 2 weeks. The university claims that this will emulate the kind of data Internet companies are collecting from their users daily. The questions that the app will ask are intrusively private, but the kind of answers apps can take from user behaviour which is taken for granted – for example, what the user is doing, how he feels about what he is doing, where he is, who he is with, and how much the data would be worth to him. Everyone knows that this kind of data is given away for free, on the Internet, on a daily basis.

As for volunteers, they will get the chance to win £10-100 in Amazon vouchers via a prize draw for their participation. The leader of the research, Dr. Bernadette Kamleitner from the School of Business and Management, claimed that personal data is a huge but poorly regulated business. Despite the fact that the consumers are able to benefit from the use of their data through receiving customized offers that may be interesting for them, others can also use their private details to make money.

Queen Mary University hopes that that the research will help them understand which information people believe is more or less valuable to them. In addition, the results would show whether people really believe that personal data has no price or not.

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