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The Average Consumer Thinks Data Privacy Is Worth Around 65 Cents

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the money-talks dept.

Privacy 128

chicksdaddy writes "Threatpost is reporting today on the findings of an ENISA study that looked at whether consumers would pay more for goods in exchange for more privacy. The answer — 'Sure...just not much more.' The report (PDF): 'Study on Monetizing Privacy: An Economic Model for Pricing Personal Information' presents the findings of a laboratory study in which consumers were asked to buy identical goods from two online vendors: one that collected minimal customer information and another that required the customer to surrender more of their personal information to purchase the item, including phone number and a government ID number. The laboratory experiment showed that the majority of consumers value privacy protections. When the prices of the goods offered by both the privacy protecting and the privacy violating online retailers were equal, shoppers much preferred the privacy protecting vendor. But the preference for more privacy wasn't very strong, and didn't come close to equaling consumers' preference for lower prices. In fact, consumers readily switched to a more privacy-invasive provider if that provider charged a lower price for the same goods. How much lower? Not much, researchers discovered. A discount of just E0.50 ($0.65) was enough to sway consumers away from a vendor who would protect the privacy of their personal data."

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And how much is it worth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356225)

One wonders how much your privacy is actually worth. Hell, most sites straight-up tell you that they're going to sell your information the first chance they get. And how much do they get from the sale of your information that you'll never see? I'd be surprised if they even made a dollar per unique user. Just look at the email lists that get swapped around by spammers if you don't believe me.

Re:And how much is it worth? (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357115)

"The Average Consumer Thinks Data Privacy Is Worth Around 65 Cents"

The average "consumer" usually has little or no knowledge of the true risks of losing privacy, especially in the context of various authoritarian regimes in the past, present and future. The average "consumer" has little knowledge of history, of politics, or of philosophy, or at least does not usually use that knowledge as a basis for buying decisions. The decision to buy a product is usually not a result of any deep thought, but is instead an instinctive and quick decision based on immediate wants or needs versus other wants or needs in the short or medium term.

Re:And how much is it worth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357393)

I think most of these conversations should start with a clear explanation of what "privacy" means in each context.

"Your privacy" is pretty vague terminology for a lot of things, where supplying one or another might not constitute real forfeiture of privacy, depending on the person.

Would I supply a phone number for .60 to a company I thought was legit? Maybe. But then, to me, phone numbers are mostly unimportant, disposable things. Same for most email addresses I'd give out. I wouldn't say I "value my privacy at .60"

If "government ID number" is something like a social security number, I wouldn't give that away for a lower price. Only for, say, items like firearms where it could be required.

Re:And how much is it worth? (2)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357681)

I think most of these conversations should start with a clear explanation of what "privacy" means in each context.

Fair enough. There is a spectrum. If company X gets your phone number or email address, they might spam you...who really cares since I can filter them out. Here is the problem as I see it: while company X getting your information may not really seem harmful, the fact that company X can so easily get your information exists in a broader societal pattern where privacy is valued less. Structures get built and habits develop where privacy is an afterthought. As our lives exist increasingly online, the personal details of our lives become less and less private. Those structures, those patterns, those habits could make it rather easy for an authoritarian government to covertly spy on its citizens. History, recent and otherwise has shown that authoritarian governments often quietly draw up lists of "problem citizens" before their true intentions become known. Examples exist from Nazi Germany through to Chile, Argentina [wikipedia.org], Guatemala, El Salvador. So while we likely agree that giving personal information out to individual companies is likely benign in isolation, I would assert that the broader pattern is more dangerous.

Re:And how much is it worth? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358209)

I also think many people have the idea that these abuses of privacy are illegal or the government is somehow protecting them in some other non-specific way.

In the old days, to get certain information, you'd have to stick your head in someone's bedroom window, or break in to get some of the things you can just pull off the Internet these days. Those older information gathering methods are obviously illegal. Today, people hand out information in their own homes using their own computers, but fail to realize they didn't just put it in some remote storage, instead, their data is actively being put into databases and search engines and is up for sale to the highest bidders.

In a way, this sort of attitude makes Internet commerce more acceptable, because the abuses are more remote, but the scale of the disaster that could befall you today used to require some sort of a felony to even expose you to the danger.

Re:And how much is it worth? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357583)

One wonders how much your privacy is actually worth.

Privacy violations can be very costly -- it could mean higher insurance rates, higher credit fees or lower credit limits, being denied a better paying job, being denied residence in a particular community, and so forth. People lose power over their lives when information about themselves is revealed to the world, and those who trade in personal information have quite a bit of power.

The problem is that most people simply do not yet understand the strategic nature of personal information. They are still thinking about privacy as if we were living in the 80s, when a PI would have been required to get the sort of information that companies have in their databases today. Depending on how companies abuse their new power of everyone's lives -- and make no mistake, abuses will happen to an increasing degree over the next few years -- people may or may not fight back. For now, though, people are content to live with the "well why would anyone care about who my drinking buddies are?" sort of attitude, and blindly click through the "we can do whatever we want with the information we collect" policies without even reading what they are agreeing to.

Re:And how much is it worth? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357687)

Hell you don't even have to give them ANYTHING to have them screw themselves, all you have to do is offer the illusion of giving them something. Its called the dancing bunnies problem [codinghorror.com] and working PC sales and repair i've seen it more times than many here have had hot meals. People will give away their passwords, run ANY program, bypass ANY security, all you have to do is offer the right dancing bunny.

Sadly the only time i had to get ugly with a customer (I threw him out of the shop and told him I'd call the cops if he came back) was a customer that demanded that I repair his machine for free because he refused to listen and destroyed his system for a dancing bunny. Now with my little system I have for Win 7 I have had zero infected machines EXCEPT this guy, and I had told him before i ever sold him the machine when he asked about it "I can't give you that program because it doesn't exist anymore, the feds shut down limewire years ago and anything that says its limewire is just a virus" so what did he do? he Googled "The new limewire" the very second he got home and when both the AV AND the browser blocked him trying to get it he first uninstalled the browser then when he couldn't disable the AV he uninstalled it, all for the lure of a program that didn't exist. of course when he ran "the new limewire" what he got was over 100 malware infections and so many clickjackers that he couldn't even see the desktop for the constant stream of popups. when i finally threw him out the shop he was yelling "It says right there its the new limewire so make it work dammit!"

Linux won't save you, in fact there are websites that show you how to make a bug in 5 easy steps [geekzone.co.nz] by using the dancing bunny, mac won't save you either as we saw with DNSChanger and MacDefender/Guardian, in the end security all comes to to the user. why would the user pay even 10c for their data to be secured when frankly they will hand over the keys to the kingdom for the offer of a dancing bunny? I had to come up with a free porn site just to keep the "Iz-not_Viruz_iz_codex" bugs from infecting guys, I've seen girls run strange programs offered them in chat sessions by strangers because it was supposed to be some match 3 or a "free' version of some popular game like Angry birds or Plants Vs Zombies, this is why I've had to spend so much time learning how to keep as many decisions OUT of the hands of the user as possible, because frankly the word security never even crosses their minds, not if you offer a dancing bunny.

Hell these websites could put "Not only are we gonna sell your data but we are gonna send a 600 pound silverback over to rape you while we film it for Youtube" and as long as they had some stupid thing to offer the user, some stupid game or chat or like FB a chance to blather on about themselves? they'd happily sign anything you want them to. Hell look at how many FB apps have been coming up with some truly insane demands, post as you, access to ALL of your data AND all the data of any friends, etc, and yet i get idiots I knew in HS and old GFs wanting me to use these crazy apps constantly. when i ask them 'Didn't you even read what it requires to use?" they are all "huh? what? but its cool!". Sadly while security takes real work blowing it all to hell takes only one dumbass a few minutes to crap all over it. if ugly is to the bone then dumbass must be to the molecule!

Privacy or Convenience? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356239)

Were they really measuring how much customers were willing to pay to avoid having this information stored, or were they measuring how much they were willing to pay to avoid having to type it all in? TFA seems slashdotted at the moment, so I can't tell if this is answered, but if you're buying something online then you already need to provide delivery address and credit card details, so there isn't much extra privacy you can get. Not having to type in a load of information is worth a small amount, but it only takes a minute, so not very much.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (4, Interesting)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356315)

Plus, the overall price of the product needs to come into account. Saving $.65 on the privacy invasion purchase of a Blu-Ray movie seems reasonable, but what about purchasing a car, or a new home? I might sacrifice a few details for a can of Coke, but not for a shotgun.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356349)

TFA started responding to me, and some salient facts appeared. First, the difference between the privacy and non-privacy options were supplying an email address and mobile phone number (no word on whether either had to be valid) and permission to spam the email address. Second, the items in question were cinema tickets, which means that this discount is 5-10%. I'd probably take that - it takes a few seconds to set up a new mail alias that I can delete if it starts to get too spammy.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (3, Funny)

x1r8a3k (1170111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356507)

TFA started responding to me

Did you forget to take your pills today?

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356715)

TFA started responding to me

Did you forget to take your pills today?

No, that's something that just happens over a period of time here at Slashdot. It's connected to your UID in some way. Apparently Raven64 has been here long enough for the memes to infiltrate his brain in such a way that he's getting some feedback which is interpreted by most people as a conversation with the summary, then the TFA itself.

My UID is a bit higher than his and I can hear glimpses of the siren song now and again. I expect full conversations soon.

It has nothing to do with skipping meds. I find when I do that, the only difference is that the comments make a bit more sense than otherwise.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357015)

TFA started responding to me

Did you forget to take your pills today?

I'm pretty sure the response he was referring to was 200.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357491)

it takes a few seconds to set up a new mail alias

No, it doesn't: http://www.mailinator.com/

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (2)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356805)

Another factor that appears to be ignored in this report on the study is the perceived multiplier of the transaction delta from repeat business. If I'm going to save 65 cents on every book Amazon sells me in exchange for surrendering my (same) email address every time, that's very different from a one-time only discount or a unique purchase from a vendor I'm unlikely to revisit. As it happens, the full report does mention two models, one with and one without multiple transactions, but without reading all 76 pages, it's not clear how the 65 cent figure relates to those more complicated situations.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356569)

It doesn't bother me that my ISP has my private information. Because they aren't the real danger. The real danger is the Department of Homeland Security or other cop going to the ISP and demanding a printout of every website I've ever visited.

And even the most-protective of corporations can't turn down a Patriot Act request (aka warrantless search). They must comply. So why bother paying for extra security that doesn't really exist?

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (4, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356743)


Looking at page 30 of the report you can see this quite clearly, There are two columns representing the different options:
A) Name, E-Mail, Birthday, (+ Credit Card info) = €7.50
B) Name, E-Mail, Birthday, Phone, (+ Credit Card info) = €7.00

Well gee, if I'm giving out all that info, who cares about the phone number? And honestly I'd probably type in a 555-1234 number and save the €.50.

At best, this just proves that people are lazy, don't read the term and conditions and won't type in some numbers if there's no incentive to. This is _vastly_ different from, say, payment for monitoring your browsing history, or just selling the data start away. (Usually, if you trust a seller enough to give them your credit card information, you aren't going to be too worried about giving them your phone number as well.)

I haven't read through the whole report, and probably won't, but I can't understand why then even did this. I suppose it's mildly interesting to be prove that no one reads the privacy policy, but that's hardly surprising. (It's not like they're really enforced anyway, so what's the point.) It would have been much more interesting if it was clearer that their information was going to be sold, like "€7.50 or FREE if you fill out this survey with valid phone + email".

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356807)

I actually *prefer* to give out my phone number rather than my email address.

I'd rather have a missed call than spam in my email account.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358051)

Far, far more interesting was if there were observable repercussions to picking the no-privacy option, ie. more targeted spam or even some phone calls. That google was mining my gmail info was merely academic to me, until the first time I noticed the effect on the sidebar ads... especially when those ads take some keyword way out of context.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (1)

grim4593 (947789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358191)

Another problem with "privacy policies" is that they disappear when the company does. Barnes and Noble was able to buy the intellectual property of Borders when they went bankrupt. This included all the customer information regardless of the original Borders privacy policy.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/container/stores.asp?pid=39742 [barnesandnoble.com]
So even if you trust a company if it goes out of business your information can go to the highest bidder.

Re:Privacy or Convenience? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358469)

Directly from TFA (well, TFPDF)

"This personal data is their private information and there is no mechanism to verify whether the information they disclose is true."

For $0.65, you can rest assured I'd give you my phone number. It's 321-123-4567. Also my Birthday is Jan 1st, 1960s... or wherever I happen to click after a few page-downs.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356253)

Average Joe is an idiot. Film at 11.

Credibility Matters (2)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356517)

"Average Joe is an idiot. Film at 11."

I'm probably as guilty at too often thinking the Average Joe may be as informed/cynical as I am. I.e, my non-RTFA response is "Credibility Matters".

These days I don't find the idea credible that any service could actually succeed in maintaining a business model, and in the technical challenge, of securing my privacy and providing a service even remotely comparable to the privacy 'invading' alternatives like Google and Facebook. At least not for $1, or even $100/yr. Even if you could somehow neutralize the unethical advertising gangs, neutralizing the unethical state sponsored intelligence agencies, as well as the unethical organized criminal gangs, seems in my estimation to be entirely out of the reach of any corporation. Yes, I am one of THOSE open source software zealots...

Re:Credibility Matters (1)

Peter Mork (951443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358225)

I don't know that it's necessarily the Average Joe being an idiot. Privacy is a non-positional good, which (as Frank notes in The Darwin Economy [amazon.com]) usually loses to positional goods. This is why a "rational libertarian" should support laws (such as privacy laws) that counteract individuals acting in a rational way to the detriment of the collective individuals. I.e., we all win with better privacy laws, but none of us can afford to individually opt-out (because the cost to the individual is too high, unless we all agree to act together).

Re:Duh (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358063)

Average Joe is an idiot. Film at 11.

But it should be noted the more of an idiot someone is, the more likely they are to see everyone else as idiots. Thus, the "most people are idiots" attitude is a warning sign that the person saying it is an idiot. Not conclusive, but strongly indicative...

$.065...sigh (4, Insightful)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356261)

Not usually a nitpicker but COME ONE!

Re:$.065...sigh (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356367)

This report was brought to you by Verizon.

Re:$.065...sigh (5, Informative)

TC Wilcox (954812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356477)

This report was brought to you by Verizon.

I wanted to mod you up, but you didn't have a link for those that missed the whole funny affair.... http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356379)

This is value creation at its finest - we're selling ourselves (or our information) for a price we are willing to accept to a John (Google) who is more than willing to pay.

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356491)

"Point zero zero two cents per kilobyte."

Okay. So that's that same as point zero zero two pennies, right?

"Yes sir."

Okay. So point zero zero two pennies times 35,500 kilobytes == 71 pennies. I owe you 71 pennies. And I'm not paying a penny more asshole Verizon.

"We'll cancel your account."

I don't give a shit. I'm switching to Sprint. Where I can hear a pin drop. ;-)

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356571)

"Not usually a nitpicker but COME ON!"

Most people are of average intelligence or below, it's not surprising. Most people are not intelligent enough or have enough impulse control.

Re:$.065...sigh (2)

tendrousbeastie (961038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356845)

Surely, half of all people are of average intelligence or below, otherwise "average intelligence" needs re-defining.

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356893)

Mean vs Median...

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357827)

It depends. If there is a segment of the population that has *exactly* the mean intelligence, then most people would be average *or* below. If talking mean and no one is exactly the mean, then you are correct. If median, then 'average or below' would again comprise the majority.

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358105)

If there is a segment of the population that has *exactly* the mean intelligence, then most people would be average *or* below.

Of course, by this definition, it is also true that most people are average or above....

Re:$.065...sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357933)

Nope, half of all people are of median intelligence or below. The average of a characteristic of a population implies nothing about the number of people above or below the average, but median does.

*The more your know (math).*

Re:$.065...sigh (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356939)

I'm slightly peaved that NO ONE seems to believe that I am owed a cut of whatever ducats MY information brings in to the people that sell it. I assume that some sort of disclaimer with regard to my info is a standard part of all the the hundreds of EULAs I've had to agree to in my life. But it still seems reasonable to me that if people feel like they have a right to sell that information, which is meaningless without my existence, I have a right to a cut of the profits. Reasoned arguments against?

In their defense (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356263)

The personal data of anyone participating in some random survey is probably pretty useless. Good luck getting a credit card on the credit score of someone willing to show up to some strange lab on the promise of a $10 payment and a free soda.

Re:In their defense (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356395)

The article was not crystal clear, but I think it was run at Univ Cambridge UK.

Where I went to school, if you wanted to pass intro psych, you had to volunteer to participate in psych research tests. 3 experiments, if I recall. These tests were run by the upperclass psych students as part of passing experimental psych class. I took sociology for my "soft science" but I heard stories about lots of perceptual tests and timed foolishness. You'd hope for a human sexuality experiment, or a psychoactive drug experiment, but you were almost certain to be timed while solving a puzzle of some unusual sort, or shown something and asked weird questions about what you remember of it, etc.

To some extent, given the unemployment rates of psych grads, you story still stands... but, psych is not quite as bad as being, say, panhandlers off the street.

Re:In their defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357817)

psych is not quite as bad as being, say, panhandlers off the street

#youknowthatsright #psych

Re:In their defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357895)

These tests were run by the upperclass psych students

So you were at Cambridge too?

Properly informed consumers? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356265)

But are the consumers being properly informed about the ramifications of the vendor having that information? What are they using it for? Can they be trusted to only use it for that and not re-sell it? Really? Come on be honest.

I think this study says more about the illiteracy we have with what "privacy" means and our tendency to trust authority-looking-figures when they say they need information from us. I don't think it's accurate to interpret complacency with rational economic valuation.

Calculation's Off (2)

b0nj0m0n (899670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356273)

To be fair, you would need to multiply that $0.65 times every item bought. Adding up the sales difference in aggregate, this would be a much higher value than the title suggests.

Depends... (4, Insightful)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356299)

65cents under one scenario- beyond that, surely it is all dependant on how invasive they are; what the product is; how much it is to begin with.

If you're talking about a new 50inch 3d smart-TV. 65cents is nothing. If you're talking about a $1 photo order- 65cents is over half the order.

It would also depend on how the privacy being invaded- are they just keeping a log of everything you buy- selling your information to third parties- posting what you buy to facebook.

Also- how much do the "privacy sensitive" companies really respect your privacy? How much do you trust them. I don't trust anyone online- I just assume everyone is going to share what I give them. Sad... but that's the truth.

How much does Privacy matter to me? Well- I refuse to shop at Tiger Direct ever since they asked me for my Soc Sec Nbr. Simply none of their business. Will never go back to them no matter how cheap they are- there is no legitimate reason they should have asked for it.

Re:Depends... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356471)

Well- I refuse to shop at Tiger Direct ever since they asked me for my Soc Sec Nbr. Simply none of their business. Will never go back to them no matter how cheap they are- there is no legitimate reason they should have asked for it.

When did they start doing that? What if you tell them you're not a US citizen? I would imagine a lot of foreign college students buy parts to upgrade their PCs while living here... Ah I see where this might be going.

Re:Depends... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356633)

They will probably want a fax of the person's driver's license and/or passport then.

Tigerdirect have been douches from day one - they had a miserable score at reseller-ratings until they astroturfed it nearly a decade ago. Last I checked the evidence is still there, you can go back through the ratings and see a year or two of craptastic ratings and then a short burst of activity of all positive reviews. It is ironic that they would use fake identities to promote their own business but then turn around and start requiring invasively identifiying information from their customers.

In the long run, everybody is better off avoiding them.

Re:Depends... (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356661)

That explains the DARPA contract for $0.65 that was let to secure the federal data bases and diplomatic cables. As far as privacy goes for any data including SSN, I think that boat sailed long ago. It depends on who is collecting the data and how much processing power they have. I would imagine that various governments have massive exclusionary data bases on people in their country as well as others. If every body else but me is in the data base, it isn't too difficult to figure out the missing data.

Re:Depends... (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356485)

I haven't shopped at Tiger Direct in a long time, but I'd pass on any company that asked for my SSN as well.

Re:Depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356595)

I haven't shopped at Tiger Direct in a long time, but I'd pass on any company that asked for my SSN as well.

I've shopped there quite recently, and did not have to provide an SSN. I suspect the GP post is "bullshitting by omission", as in perhaps applied for credit terms, where for an individual it is common to ask for that.

Re:Depends... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356761)

I've shopped there for years, although not recently, and one thing I've noticed is people who buy assembled computers and overclocker parts have endless public horror stories about utter insanity assuming any of their story is true, but just your average component buyer like myself thinks they walk on water. Its like they're multiple companies operating under one domain, like ebay, or something like that.

It Could be that he was dealing with the insane department, whereas I have always ordered from the apparently sane hard drive dept, etc.

I have seen this kind of thing happen to companies that drop-ship-from-the-factory, you order drop ship items from them, they pass the order along and get a commission, then who knows what insanity lurks at the factory. It may be that TD resells PCs and some parts from absolute lunatics, although TD itself has always treated me well.

Re:Depends... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356767)

post is "bullshitting by omission", as in perhaps applied for credit terms,

No ommission- no request for credit. Simple purchase a year or so back under $100.

Google "Tiger Direct" and "SSN" you will see plenty of other people with the same complaint (I just did).

Re:Depends... (2)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357825)

How does the percentage of the payout to the purchase change how much your privacy is worth? As I understand what you wrote, you'll sell your data for $0.65 if you're buying something for a dollar. But you'll want much more if you're buying something expensive. Why does the cost of the item change the worth of your personal data?

Only once (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356345)

That 70cents you will make back in a few minutes working.
The data they will have forever.

Re:Only once (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358147)

That 70cents you will make back in a few minutes working. The data they will have forever.

Hey, if you're building iPads, that's a week's worth of work!

Useless averages (2)

ViperOrel (1286864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356369)

I tend to inject random noise into any surveys I answer, so the average of all answers is "I don't exist". Flood any system with enough garbage and you render the entire system mostly useless.

Re:Useless averages (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356589)

I tend to inject random noise into any surveys I answer, so the average of all answers is "I don't exist".

Flood any system with enough garbage and you render the entire system mostly useless.

I'm told this doesn't work anymore. So, on tree-lined Slashdot Lane, we've got the docs on everyone in every house except vlm's house. Hmm. We also have some clown filling out every random blasted value that exists for his income. Hmm. We still don't have his real income, but we can assign all those random transactions to vlm, then make some educated guesses based on dollar value of transactions vs stored data from his neighbors, to estimate... blah blah.

Also I know for a fact, from previous experience in grocery retail work 20 years ago, even then they had the docs on you, they only asked for information to authenticate its really you, and to figure out how "compliant" you are. Much as you are required to fill out an employment application at a job interview even if they have a resume simply to see how you react to tedium, how compliant you are, etc.

Your "grocery store check cashing card" application technically requires nothing other than your SS number and signature. Everything else is merely testing for compliance. Your loyalty card technically requires nothing at all, but if you're a jerk about it, the first time you pay using anything other than cash, they'll have all your docs and link it to you, and then you get filed in the PR category of "jerk", for better or worse.

What you can calculate from junk data in a sparse table is different than what you can calculate from junk data in a nearly full table.

Re:Useless averages (1)

ViperOrel (1286864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356697)

Which of course begs the next question which is "who cares"...

Anyone digging into my life will only have themselves to blame when they recoil in horror and can't sleep at night...

My warning to anyone asking me any meaningful questions about myself always amounts to "I'd be happy to tell you, but once I do, I can't untell you."
Most people stop asking at that point.

Re:Useless averages (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357415)

Which of course begs the next question which is "who cares"...

Oh, you'd be bloody surprised [slashdot.org].

Even if they can parse your "randomness" and correlate what other things "random purchasers" buy, they can find ways to target you directly, and possibly without making it appear as though they're targeting you.

The whole "anything you say and and will be used against you" thing can apply to far more than you think...

Re:Useless averages (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357913)

If the companies that have something I like can find me and tell me about it, what exactly is the harm done?
If companies that don't have anything I like leave me the hell alone, because they don't want to waste their advertising budget irritating people, what exactly is the harm done?
Having the government sniffing up everyone's skirt, trying to enforce one fine or another is a different matter, but that is more an argument to reduce government intrusion that for this whole "I'VE GOT TO HIDE!!" mentality.

I guess my question really boils down to why are we hiding, and from whom?

math (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356423)

($.065)65 cents

Privacy is priceless.... however,..... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356431)

.....to buy goods should not risk my privacy. I detest going into a Best Buy or Sears or any where else that has to ask for a phone number or zip code, and when I say no, I'm told, well it's the only way we can refund you if there is an issue with a product. And I immediately call Shenanigans, and they sheepishly admit that they don't need the info.

It's bad enough that my info is being sold to advertisers when I purchase on line due to some cookie on the browser page. My purchase no matter where I make it is and should be private, which includes any data I must provide in order to make a legitimate purchase. That is a purchase agreement for goods, not my info.

I'm so tired of every company having to have all of my info. I don't want targeted ads, in fact stop advertising to me.

Privacy is priceless, and Cash is King.

Re:Privacy is priceless.... however,..... (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356755)

Feels like the long con in a confidence game, no? Fight fire with fire is my response. I wonder how many solicitors call the lottery asking for Buddy Revell [wikipedia.org]... or how many tons of mailers never reach my address in the middle of the park... Fuck em, they want info so bad I'll give em all the mis-info they deserve.
My CAPTCHA is 'Spite', lulZ.

Re:Privacy is priceless.... however,..... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356967)

.....to buy goods should not risk my privacy. I detest going into a Best Buy or Sears or any where else that has to ask for a phone number or zip code, and when I say no, I'm told, well it's the only way we can refund you if there is an issue with a product. And I immediately call Shenanigans, and they sheepishly admit that they don't need the info.

Interestingly, such shenanigans are illegal where I live both by deceptive sales laws and by privacy laws (if I say no when they ask for the data, they are required to drop it but not have that impact the level of service). I consistently respond to "and may I have your phone number/postal code/etc" with "no thank you." Once, when the laws had just been passed, I had someone tell me that their till wouldn't let them complete the transaction without the information; I told them it must be able to, or their company was in for stiff penalties and an audit. The clerk quickly found the button that skipped to the next input field. That's the last time I've had this sort of issue.

Facebook (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356449)

What the article failed to tell you was that immediately after the test participants made their online product selection from the appropriate vendor, they 'shared' their conquest on Facebook.

Privacy and consequences... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356475)

A lot of it is that people for a long time didn't care about if a shop had a lot of info about them. However, with the fact that one can be denied a job, and scored on how employable they are due to their private writings, people are wising up to the fact that knowledge is power, and that clicking the "like" when someone shares a joke about "press 1 for English" can mean no job for seven years, that privacy might be useful.

It may be too late for most people though.

Obvious? (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356525)

People have shared their data for years with all sorts of retail stores, beginning with the supermarkets. Of course the value of the savings at a supermarket far exceeds the savings mentioned in the summary (TFA is not loading for me). We run a loyalty program at my hardware store and occasionally a customer balks at providing their name and address to us to receive the special sale price or daily deal. It's pretty rare lately, I think people are resigned to the fact that stores are capturing their data anyway (the bankcard companies are all now selling aggregate purchasing behavior data).

I think the bigger issue is government access to your data. I'm much more worried about what the IRS or the TSA might sift through, but I really could care less that CVS believes I'm incontinent because I buy Depends for my in-laws.

Re:Obvious? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357509)

I, like a number of other posters, find it difficult to get my panties in a twist about how the mass marketers are going to work out purchasing tampons, Depends and prenatal vitamins on one debit card. Sucks to be them, I suppose.


Privacy? (1)

ViperOrel (1286864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356541)

Isn't it easier to just live in a world where you assume everyone knows everything about you???

That's mostly how I live my life.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357063)

You either have very limited personal assets, or you have a very limited definition of "everything."

I generally live my life assuming that for the most part, any information I provide someone will be captured, analysed, stored and sold.

Thus, I live my life being very careful about who knows what about me. It's not that much work, and means that it's less likely that people will know things about me that should have no impact on our relationship.

"average consumers" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356567)

What do above average consumers think?

Headline misleading. (5, Interesting)

Seor Jojoba (519752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356575)

The article (not the original paper) is averaging together all of the people that said "Naw, I wouldn't pay anything extra" along with all the people that said one, two, or five dollars, etc. So of course it's going to be some sad little number, leading to a headline that sounds like people are selling their souls.

A more useful question, "of those willing to pay for privacy, how much would they pay?" Read the original paper (not the cheap little article) and you see things like "A non-negligible proportion of the experiment’s participants (13–83%), however, chose to pay a ‘premium’ for privacy. " The paper is actually supporting the idea that some people are willing to pay enough that it would fit into the business model of different content providers.

I also think that a bunch of us hate the idea of paying for privacy, not because we don't value it very much, but because it is offensive to think we would need to pay for it. So again the article headline gives a false notion of everyone selling out for 65 cents, when the stats are unlikely distinguishing between apathetics and holy rollers that would both decline to pay for privacy.

443 out of 7,000,000,000 (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356615)

Not what I would call a representative sample.

Makes me wonder... was the research conducted like so many political polls in the U.S., in which the controllers deliberately limit their sample to groups who will give them the desired result?

For $0.65 ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356625)

... I'll give them CowboyNeal's government ID number.

Re:For $0.65 ... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356955)

... I'll give them CowboyNeal's government ID number.

I'm curious how they verified it, assuming they did verify it. I've been known to lie to salespeople... after all its their paid job to lie to me...

As corporations demand more and more data from customers, how do they know they got the correct data? Whats my minor sons US passport number? What is your blood type? Whats my great grandmas former address in 1953? Please write the complete genetic code of your 13th chromosome in this tiny little box. Are you wearing boxers, briefs, thong, something sheer and lacy, or going commando? Please enter your personal belief of the meaning of life in 80 characters or less. F all I wanna do is buy a can of pepsi at this convenience store...

Re:For $0.65 ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358031)

Good question. I keep a list (secured on a PDA) of all my passwords and answers to security questions. Not all the answers are the same. Nor are most of them correct.

The whole 'mothers maiden name' is just saved so that, should additional identity verification be needed, you'll provide them with the same answer as you gave when you applied. So people who actually research my life to steal my identity will get the answer wrong.

Outside of government, employers and financial institutions who have a legal right to collect your Social Security Number, I'm not certain that there is a major problem with giving others a wrong number. As long as you 'remember' which number you have given to whom, what's the problem?

Most Consumers Also Think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356679)

Most consumers also think they are excellent drivers.

Third Option (4, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356705)

I actually read some of the PDF report. The entire world falls into two groups: Those that provided the information, and those that did not. Am I the only person in the world who provides false information in return for $.065? Or does the study disclose, by not having data on how many provided false information, that it had no control for false information?

Re:Third Option (3, Informative)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356803)

FTA "Note: In order to protect their personal data, some individuals who are concerned with their privacy strategically invalidate their personal identifies by disclosing bogus information. They have an incentive do do so given that the detection probability is low and the consequences of such information disclosure are not negative"...."Information disclosed by participants is not checked for accuracy. In particular, where individuals are asked for sensitive perrsonal data that cannot be verified, results could be biased".

In the accompanying footnote, "In Germany, almost every fourth internet user stated that h/she has given false information on the internet in the past".

Re:Third Option (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357033)

In the accompanying footnote, "In Germany, almost every fourth internet user stated that h/she has given false information on the internet in the past".

False information ... to who?

On the internet, the men are men, the women are also men (at least they used to be), and the lonely highschool cheerleaders / "bi-curious" boys are FBI agents running a sting operation.

Looking at it from that perspective is insightful.

normal consumers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356745)

missing point: The distribution of consumers is not normal!

The average is telling us nothing we didn't know: most people don;t give a shit about there privacy.

I am most interested in what the value of privacy is to people who understand what it means... These are the few outliers that spent more to protect their privacy.

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356773)

What - not today. You don't have any, except when you get out of the shower tomorrow - which will change when Google launches XRAY - taking GoogleMaps to a whole new level. Thought you go back to simple calling, nope, give up buddy. That land line is really connected to your broadband modem, which now has an IP so no, can't go there.
I hear Campbell's soup cans are still really cheap as is string - but who cares, we already know who you are and what you're doing 24X7

$26.95 (1)

bartosek (250249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356971)

Well I just tried to buy a Minecraft license online. I went through their payment page, put in my name and credit card info and got declined because their payment processor, Moneybookers, said I needed to sign up for an account and scan my drivers license and send it to them.

I kinda would have liked to have played the full version of Minecraft but I am sure as hell not giving out that kind of information for it.

Threatpost Threatpost CBS, Cnet, Download.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356987)

It's fucking like clockwork, these crap seed stories, today it's "Threatpost" just the fucking name makes me want to puke, It's FEAR BASED!

( Threat - Post ) Posts about "threats" or simply posting threat after threat after threat continously keeping people scared and buying Kaspersky product X, Y, Z.
Mr Kaspersky I remind you, who ultimately wants everyone to have an internet ID forced on them by government.

Compare to http://www.h-online.com/ .

Which one covers this shit from an establishment, political objective to crack down on freedom, lock down devel tools, fuck free speech, Pro Cyber CZar, fear based approach, problem reaction solution approach, etc. leaving BLAME to countries or to a unending plethora of spooky sounding unknown unpinpointable invisible enemies, leaving uncertainty and doubt in the wake as the truth is nobody know from where the many unknown attacks come exactly. Who gives you smash hits like
BBC Persia Hacked, Points Finger at Iran
New Linux Distro Promoted as Anonymous-OS
Can Google Be Forced By the FBI to Unlock Users' Phones?
The Value Of Data Privacy To Consumers? About 65 Cents. (hmm where else did I see this one today?)
Offense is Being Pushed Underground
Elections 2012 and DDoS attacks in Russia (what no mention of America's fucked up elections? Ever!)
60 Minutes Weighs Stuxnet's Legacy

These stories make me want to vomit. Just advise me to patch my computers and not get arrested by these new retarded fucking laws like H. Security does and hold the extra problem, fear, reaction, solution, drama

Which one covers this stuff from a reasonable, non-political, more technical point. With links to fixes or netblocks or mitigation, etc. Hands down H. Security wins. I don't see ties to CBS propaganda fear there, but I do see ties to secunia. I don't see ties to download.com or cnet or cbs or but I do see ties to open source opportunity as opposed to another god damn propaganda splog.

Salience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357039)

They talk about the salience of certain details in TFA. The one really salient fact they leave out of most of it is the price level they find that $0.65 (!) to be the difference. FYI the following (I read TFA, more or less):

1. They tested with prices of 2 to 7 euros vs. a 50 cent higher ones. In one example, the market share of movie ticket sales of a service that charged 7.00 for a ticket went from 60% to 87% if they asked the snoopy private info separately in the alternative (so yep, people dislike typing the same another time, if that was what it took; my patience with TFA wasn't enough to find that out);

2. That particular example was a German movie ticket service, that sells lots of tickets. That it's German is salient, because Germans of my age, for example (~50) will be quite reluctant to give any extra bits of info, although they're most likely to know that their info is going to be recorded anyway, if they use a credit card. If you took the same test to Britons you'd be likely to find different results, let alone in the U.S.

But then I guess one would have to be a bit on the geeky side to do what I do: First, if at all possible, use only PayPal. They'll get a shipping address. Second, if I suspect a price lock-in based on postal code or the like, I make sure I use a proxy to hide my location. I don't have to hide myself otherwise, as I routinely destroy all cookies after each session. As most people are still to find out about adblockers, I assume they don't destroy their cookies, either--or I know it after cleaning up a zillion computers. Then, if it takes too long to get an answer, I start suspecting the kinds of shenanigans that are demonstrated at http://panopticlick.eff.org --if you haven't visited yet, it's an eye-opener to how much good that cookie removal is if they're real shitheads (the service providers, that is). Next in line is spoofed mac addresses and proxy together.

So I'm also a paranoid. Sue me!

Poor Measure (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357085)

A threshold value is not a good measure of a non-normal distribution, and consumer estimated value is a poor measure of the value of privacy foregone.

In a non-normal distribution, a threshold value, like the median, can be very misleading. This case shows that most people do not perceive the value of transaction privacy as being greater than $0.65, but if the people who think it is worth more than $0.65 think it is worth significantly more, then the $0.65 is significantly below the mean perceived value. Due to inherently poor numeracy in public perception, using a non-mean value to represent a measure of a public perception of value is misleading.

Even if that were an accurate measure of mean perceived value, consumer ability to estimate the societal value of transaction privacy is almost certainly downward distorted. Just as most people do not grasp the full value of free speech and freedom of assembly, most people are not capable of properly estimating the societal value of transaction privacy. Free trade is exposed to the same risk of chilling effects as free speech. If every purchase is monitored, recorded, and subject to later scrutiny by anyone with the funds to buy the records, the knowledge of that scrutiny will distort purchasing behavior. Distortions in purchasing behavior cause equilibrium prices to shift, which results in a reduction in total satisfaction of wants ("total satisfaction of wants" is often estimated broadly as "GDP").

That all is to say; as economic models of pricing go, this one either betrays a significant misunderstanding of the difference between total societal value and individual perceived value, or it fully understands that distinction and suggests that corporate actors should sacrifice total societal value in favor of the distorted individual perceived value if they wish to maximize profit. The latter is exactly the sort of market distortion that should be considered in optimizing a well-regulated free market for GDP maximization.

Average consumer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357099)

The average consumer is a moron.


The existence of cell phone contracts. And the fact that they are still here after over a decade.

Yes. You are a moron too.

Next up ... people lining up to buy an iPad or iPhone or 'i' any fucking thing....

You are a moron. Yes. YOU!

Big American Corp gets away with this shit because you are a moron. That's right YOU! Look in the fucking mirror.

Want more? Stupid people who think that they can get a 'bargain' at their auto dealership. You can't. Ever. Yep, that stupid son of a bitch who flunked algebra is beating YOU at negotiating for a car deal. No really. He does it every day. I'm not kidding .

Don't get me started on the moronic stupidity and waste of money of variable annuities and extended warranties.

Yep, you too Apple Care losers. What, are Apple products so shitty that you need a plan to protect you from them? If they were so good, you wouldn't need Apple care!

J3sus M0therfucking Chr1ist!

DISCLAIMER: I have been drugged by Communists - I mean FL/OSS developers - to say what I have. I'm a moron. I know nothing. I'm spouting off because I'm stupid.

That's all. I have no assets. Please don't sue me.

That's why we should legislate privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357193)

If we make it a crime to collect certain types of information there is no way people can charge more or discount prices to get the information. It makes it easy to take that chip off the board.

This is NOT the value of privacy (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357257)

... instead, this is the value of some big corporation's PROMISE of privacy.

A discount of $0.65 out of what? (1)

korogorov (1074979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357373)

A discount of just E0.50 ($0.65) was enough to sway consumers

I didn't read the paper, but the conlcusion seems a bit stupid. A discount of $0.65 for something that costs $0.70 is pretty different than a discount of $0.65 for something that costs $10, so in the context of the experiment in question saying that people value their privacy $0.65 seems misleading. I question the interpretation of the findings. Why not make the same experiment with people being offered to pay for privacy in a free service?

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