Should the public be paid for the use of their personal data?

Consumers receive benefits from internet services that gather and process their personal data - but when these companies are growing far faster than the rest of the economy, is it time to re-evaluate the status quo?

Data is most often compared to fuel. The parallel can be compelling: a copious raw product is refined into something that powers the services and products that we use every day. As in the case of oil, this new fuel has brought about a new way of doing business, and has greased the wheels of many processes that highly developed economies now consider essential.

It is also a place of platitudes, of half-baked industry waffle where the term data could just as easily be replaced with 'magic'. Like oil, most of us don't have to think about it – even...

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