Bartering in the personal information economy

Over at TechFlash, I’ve opined about privacy and why we seem compelled to give up increasingly larger chunks of personal information for what appears to be free stuff. No longer is the classic New Yorker cartoon (“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”) true. Now marketers know you’re a dog, what your breed is and that, when stressed, you pee in the corner.

Yet as consumers we have leverage in our dealings with marketers like, uh, me. And it starts with knowing that our personal information is worth something. Read the full guest commentary “Bartering in the Personal Information Economy” at TechFlash. (It might have equally belonged here since it’s about both tech and marketing. But privacy is such a hot button issue these days, it’s as much news commentary as it is marketing observation.)

Thematically, this commentary is a sequel to, and has its roots in, an ad hoc talk I gave at Gnomedex 10 in Seattle in August. Chris Pirillo, who kindly posted the video of my Gnomedex rant, gets credit for getting me thinking even more about this important topic.