Alternative Data, CCPA, Data Monetization, Data Privacy, Fair-trade data, GDPR, PII

What is Fair-Trade Data?

Fair-trade data is the future of alternative data buying and selling.

In a recent article, Forbes highlighted New York-based privacy app Killi and its coined Fair-Trade Data program. Killi, in partnership with Optimus Analytics, a data science and tech startup, introduced the program as a way for end-users to be financially compensated for sharing their personal data with brands and social platforms. Wow, say what?

On any given day, our browsers are collecting information from our mobile devices or computers. This is done whether we think our information is private or not.  This information is browser history, location data, our emails, maybe demographic data like gender and age, mobile phone numbers, IP addresses, any saved credit card information, passwords, preferences, etc. This is from any app we login into – Google, Facebook, Twitter, loyalty rewards apps. All of our data is collected and potentially sold to third parties without any type of kickback to us, the end user, in exchange for the data we input. Killi, now offers the end user some monetary compensation for sharing the data.

Killi’s fair-trade data program is based on the data dividend concept presented by California Governor Gavin Newsom. So, each time a brand or a platform uses the user data shared with Killi, that end user will be compensated. That user will also receive a full transparency report revealing what data was purchased and for how much. Both the buyer and seller are aware of the details around the transaction – hence the term, fair-trade.

According to Killi’s CEO, Neil Sweeney, “The trillion dollar global data market has zero consumer inclusion yet it continues to generate billions of dollars for corporations each and every year Considering that all data is a manifestation of a consumer’s identity the need for a mechanism to allow consumers to see who is using their data, consent to its use as well as receive some compensation represents the future of data — one which includes the consumer.”

Via Killi, the end user controls what data is shared, what data is sold, and what data the end user wishes to stop sharing. If the app is deleted, all of the profile data and history are erased. The app collects an end user’s personal and demographic data directly through its mobile and web application. It uses more than 100 new data segments — such as political affiliations, shopping behavior, mobile phone brands and preferences, and credit card preferences — that users can profit from.

Killi will act as the middle man, connecting consumers with brands that want the user data and acting as a data broker under a GDPR and CCPA compliant framework. The information collected and sold is done via the consent of the individual consumer. Any consumer who opts into sharing personally identifiable information (PII) explicitly consents to the data being collected and sold.

This data collected via the app from the end user includes:

  • Personal information such as email;
  • Device location (e.g., latitude/longitude coordinates), and time of day;
  • Demographics (such as gender, birth date, etc.);
  • Information about devices (e.g., make, model, OS, and other similar Information, but not phone number);
  • The information about the App permissions (e.g., deliver notifications, use location services, and other similar Information); and
  • Opinions of End Users on brand-driven questions, such as brand awareness or quality.

A user can ‘cash out’ in 3 different ways:

  • data sharing
  • surveys
  • special offers

For years, consumer data has been collected and sold across numerous marketplaces for large profit without the consumer knowing or being involved at all in the process. Huge corporations and financial services firm have made returns all based on this collected consumer data. The fair-trade data model from Killi will now allow users to take back control of their data and make some money along the way.

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