That's the question one company believes it already knows the answer to. Handshake, is an upcoming platform that's designed to put the power of big-data, back in the hands of big-society, by allowing individuals to sell their data on, instead of companies.
The idea behind Handshake is to eliminate the middle man, to let you sell your data directly to a company that wants it, instead of every organisation on earth collecting everything they can about you and selling it on to said middle-man later. Maybe finally we'll be able to book a hotel room without giving a postcode and phone number.
Handshake's app and website, will allow for direct – but anonymous – communication with companies, letting them bid for your data and allow you to be compensated every time that data is used. If you don't want to sell it to anyone, you don't have to, but if you do, you can negotiate a price for each bit you give them.
Because who could be scared of a handshake?
“Through Handshake you'll be able to see exactly which brands want to talk to you, what they want to talk about and how much they will pay you for that conversation,” reads the site's blurb.
To be able to take any money out of your Handshake account, you'll need to have answered enough questions to drum up at least £10, which might seem like a lot. If any of you have tried those get-rich-online sites where you fill in surveys or perform basic searches, you generally earn a few pennies a time and it's 100 per cent not worth it. Even the most menial job pays better per hour. However, here Handshake is suggesting that you could earn several thousands of pounds a year – though this is likely to be the upper end of the scale.
If you're worried about security, Handhsake is honest in saying that any data it stores can never be 100 per cent safe, because hackers and determined individuals are always one step ahead of the game. However, it has voluntarily submitted itself for an SSAE 16 auditing and ISO 27001 certification. Presumably there's also a lot of encryption in place, but there's no mention of that on the site's FAQ.
As it stands, Handshake is heading into beta, so you can sign up now for early entry and it has several brands standing by to buy the data, once the service has been proved to be effective.
KitGuru Says: If this turns out to be a profitable venture, it could prove to very damaging to an enormous industry of data collection. Facebook, Google and others all rely on gathering user data and either using that to target adverts based on certain criteria, or selling it on to other firms to do something similar. If this sort of freely collected data eventually becomes seen as worthless in comparison to the paid for and willingly submitted data, we could be looking at a real digital shake up.