Consumer Confidential: This company will pay you to share your data. Is it worth it?

By David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

You already know that businesses buy and sell people's personal information, padding their own pockets but never giving consumers — the rightful owners of the data — a piece of the action.

Until now.

A start-up called Killi, based in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles and New York, says it will pay people every month to share their info with the company's clients.

"All of your data is already being collected and sold," said Neil Sweeney, Killi's founder and chief executive.

"We're trying to give you a seat at the table," he told me. "For the first time, you're getting a piece of the pie."

Well, sort of.


There undoubtedly will be people who agree with Sweeney that it's about time someone recognized consumers are the only ones left out of the equation as major corporations profit from data sharing.

Even the few bucks a month Killi is offering might be seen as better than nothing.

But what the company is also doing is getting people to agree to let Killi's clients do as they please with all that info — a blanket opt-in you may not have been aware of when signing up.

This is primarily a response to sweeping European privacy rules enacted in 2018 that require companies to obtain permission from consumers before sharing their data with others.


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