The business of data: Until now, it’s mostly been a discussion within the enterprise, but that’s all about the change. Personal data marketplaces are here.

Personal data marketplaces, which enable consumers to directly sell their data, have been on the rise since users figured out that all the free apps they use aren’t really free at all. Instead, users are giving away a treasure trove of personal data on their movements, activities, and preferences to companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. In turn, those companies are selling it to advertising companies in a market that is generating billions of dollars per year and growing.

Now, we’ve covered personal data marketplaces before on the Apex of Innovation, detailing how consumers are not only taking control of their privacy, but also tapping into this newfound source of personal income with the help of innovative start-ups like Datum and

A recent blockchain-based consumer data marketplace trial from Wibson and Telefonica is the latest proof point. What’s different about the recent news from Wibson is that a major telecommunications company is involved. Telefonica brings a critical mass of consumers that can sell data via Wibson’s platform, which “allows individuals to securely and anonymously sell validated private information from their devices to advertisers and businesses in a trusted environment.”

The initial trial of the marketplace will be offered to customers of Movistar in Uruguay, which is owned by Telefonica. The company will act as the notary for the transaction, authenticating the subscriber’s status for selling personal data directly through the marketplace, which is available to advertisers, marketers, academics and researchers, and businesses.  

Not surprisingly, blockchain technology plays a big part in this marketplace. According to Wibson’s CEO Mat Travizano, “One of Wibson’s primary aims is to provide consumers with an easy way to be rewarded for the personal data they create every day. The notary feature ensures that data in the Wibson marketplace is always authentic, recent, and high quality.”

Data marketplaces for both consumers and enterprises are opening up new ways to make money across a range of industries. Have you looked into how they might impact your company?

We’ll continue to monitor this important trend and keep you updated in future posts.