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Digital Commerce: Putting A Price On Personal Data.

Jan 22 2013

Euro:Billets

Still think all that online data being collected from you and about you is relatively unimportant and without real value? The French tax authorities beg to differ. A new report commissioned by France's Ministry of Finance has just been tabled and it suggests placing a tax on the personal data collected by e-commerce and social networking sites.

The target of this proposed measure are large companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Apple all of whom are domiciled in the Republic of Ireland for tax purposes which places the lion's share of their revenue generated in France beyond the grasp of French tax authorities. The proposal obviously raises a number of issues relating to implementation and legality and will need to be subjected to further scrutiny.

Regardless of whether the measure will (or indeed can) be implemented or not, it is what the French tax authorities' position suggests about the monetary value of our personal data. The report's authors, two well regarded economists, refer to it as "la ressource essentielle de l'économie numérique" (the essential ressource of the digital economy). Yet, most consumers blithely surf the Net either unaware or misinformed as to the actual value and uses of that data. It gives new meaning to the old expression "selling yourself short".

If Google, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Apple are all making money off of your personal data, why shouldn't you?

Sincerely,

The Luxe Chronicles

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The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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