While we grudgingly accept companies like Google and Facebook collecting our data to sell us advertisements in return for services, everyone would probably begrudge data brokers – the companies that have made a multi-billion dollar industry out of selling marketers information like your age, gender, and what products you have expressed interest in buying.

To add insult to industry, those companies sell your data for almost nothing. According to the Financial Times, marketers pay less than a penny for information about you, and entire data profiles rarely cost more than a dollar.  Marketers buy personal data in packets of thousands of individuals, usually for a few hundred dollars. Even the most lucrative information for advertising purposes, such as that you are a new parent, only sells for about 15 cents.

According to a tool created by the Financial Times and published on Wednesday, this author’s personal data is worth 38 cents. You can visit the Times and find out what your data is worth here.


 This post was written by Alex Mayyasi. Follow him on Twitter here or Google Plus. To get occasional notifications when we write blog posts, sign up for our email list.