At Open Data, David Cancel, the CTO of Compete, Inc., reveals that ISPs happily sell clickstream data–and that it’s a big business. They don’t sell your name–just your clicks–but the clicks are tied to you as a specific user (User 1, User 2, etc.).
How much are your clicks worth? A symposium member extrapolated from David’s round numbers and estimated about 40 cents a month per user (per customer)–a number with which David appears to agree.
Someone points out that this is more information that was shared by AOL in the search-term brouhaha. It’s much more! David says. Someone else observes that the benefits/drawbacks of this are in the eye of the beholder: for the ISPs it’s awesome. Someone else points out (see comments) that the credit card companies sell far more interesting data than this and no one gives a damn.
David steps down. Thunderous applause.