The Sleeping Giant of Data Privacy

Data drives decisions of the worlds largest companies but in a world with constant data, how do you make sense of it? Host TC Riley, puts the world under the lens of data and analytics and explores current news, B2B trends, and popular topics.


The price users pay for consumer electronics is usually not the primary source of revenue for those that sell them. What’s most valuable is the data they collect on users. If companies can gather and monetize data, consumers get more affordable prices, and tech companies enjoy large profits. But what happens if data privacy regulations throttle this? Will the economy take a nosedive? On Diving into Data, host TC Riley breaks down the economic consequences of data privacy.

“Consumer data is underrated and isn’t factored into the big economic picture. This data largely subsidizes the cost of consumer electronics,” Riley said.

Consumer data has a high value because it fuels ad revenue on digital channels. To illustrate the value of data, consider Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn and Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp had nothing to do with the tech and everything to do with the data.

If big tech companies are turned upside down with data privacy regulations, their stocks will tumble, as will the entire market.” – Thomas Riley

Next, Riley offered a refresher on inflation, as it’s another economic force that ties into consumer data value. Riley made this hypothesis. “Inflation is being held artificially low due to the value of consumer data to many companies creating these consumer goods.”

For example, Apple sells an iPhone for $1000 and recoups its money through advertising revenue. The irony is that Apple is championing data privacy with its latest software update.

If data collection restriction becomes the norm, consumer data value will plummet. Should that happen, the economy could be in for a disruption. It may start as Facebook running more ads or no longer being free. Then stock prices fall for big tech, which now makes up around 20% of the S&P.

“If big tech companies are turned upside down with data privacy regulations, their stocks will tumble, as will the entire market. On top of that, consumer goods prices will rise, creating a further tailspin in the market.”

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