As the number of Web applications that track personal data continues to grow, one start-up is hoping to convince you to give it up voluntarily.
While companies like DataCoup and Handshake offer cash rewards in exchange for your social media data and purchasing history, Ashwini Anburajan and her start-up Social Data Collective, want to trade you for it.
Previously, Anburajan helped build BuzzFeed's data and content network, which tracks 500 million people as well as more than 250 publishers. More recently, she graduated from tech accelerator Grand Central Tech's incubator program and is expected to formally launch her company later this year.
"I consider data monetization to really be a new form of currency and customer acquisition," Anburajan said. "We could be living in a future where instead of paying for a box of samples, like we do with Birchbox, we use our data to get that box of samples."
Anburajan, who has spent the last year researching and surveying millennials, hopes to solicit personal data from consumers by bartering with them. She says most people don't want money. Instead, they perceive products and services as having a higher value.
"It's really about just psychology," she said. "If I were to tell you that I am going to give you free Starbucks every month ... or you're going to get five bucks. What sounds better? It's the same price, actually."
The Social Data Collective will aggregate the data it receives from consumers and build a proprietary analytics system that brands can access.