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What Stays in Vegas by Adam Tanner

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18

The Not-So-Enriching Business of Privacy

Profiting from Privacy

Shane Green nervously unveiled his startup’s website on November 11, 2011, at exactly 11:11 a.m. Place your private information on Personal.com, he told the world, and eventually companies will pay for access to your information and to market to you. Not pennies, but real money—at least $1,000 a year for the average consumer. On the day the site went live, Green felt pangs of doubt. “Oh, my God, do we really know what we are doing?”

Some Internet entrepreneurs and commentators thought he was committing a major blunder. Not only could he not safely store personal details such as passport information, medical records, passwords, and alarm codes, but what he was doing was potentially ...

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