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How to get paid to give up the personal data on your smartphone

Published Aug 26th, 2014 11:10AM EDT
Get Paid For Your Data

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Making sure your private information stays private is more difficult than ever before. From major companies being hacked to vulnerable apps on smartphones, everyone with an electronic device that connects to the Internet is at risk, but how much would it cost for you to give up that privacy once and for all?

Market research group Luth Research thinks that $100 a month should do the trick.

According to MIT Technology Review, Luth Research collects information including location data, search queries, website visitation and even the frequency of logging on to Twitter. This data is then analyzed for trends and sold to clients — some of those clients, both past and present, include “Subway, Microsoft, Walmart, the San Diego Padres, Nickelodeon, and Netflix.” The clients then use the data to determine their advertising strategies. When ads are more appropriately targeted, advertisers see a higher success rate.

This might sound like a relatively niche offering considering the widespread panic surrounding Internet security, but Luth says “as many as 20,000 PC users and 6,000 smartphone users” are participating at any given time. As soon as they decide to opt out of the program, all they have to do is uninstall the software.

“People are willing to be tracked as long as they’re in control,” says founder and CEO Rosanne Luth.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.