Skip to content
Technology & Innovation

How Sharing Personal Data Will Create a Digital Barter Economy

By logging hyper-specific personal information, about what booths you have visited at a trade show, for example, businesses will increasingly trade you their data for your data. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Thanks to wearable microchips, the kind of personal data we are willing to frequently share has reached a new level. At the recent Coachella festival, for example, attendees were given chip-embedded armbands in place of paper tickets. In addition to being hard-to-fake entry passes, the armbands automatically updated the Facebook status of some 30,000 festival attendees, explaining what they were doing or who they were seeing perform. Similar technology is being used by Tagstand, a Y Combinator-funded start up, to exchange personal data for cocktail recipes. If you like the drink you’ve been served at the bar, you can get the recipe. You just have to trade some of your personal data. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Tagstand’s idea to trade personal data for a tangible return, e.g. a cocktail recipe, represents the emergence of a coming discovery-based economy, says Kit Eaton. “We’re not talking about a privacy-violating sharing experience,” but a more user-friendly approach to the current system, where a lot of personal data is being shared without compensating those who supply the information. Music festivals, because they are a shared experience to begin with, have been the first to take up the cause. But in the future, says Eaton, we can expect the trend to spread, where data swaps create a digital barter economy. 

Photo credit:


Up Next