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Handshake: your data’s being sold, why not cash in?

Handshake is an app and website that allow you to negotiate a price for your personal data directly with the companies that want to buy it, cutting out the middle man.



Handshakes puts you in power of your information

This is great for individuals looking to benefit from their personal data, but what about business? Flexibility, opportunity, and user data that is accurate and willingly given. Handshake gives you the ability to negotiate in real time with users who know their personal data is valuable. Even business user profiles contain data on personality, expertise, skills, opinion, intent, and context, giving you a broader view of the person you are negotiating with. Also, user profiles are easily accessible so you can closely match your target audience, as well as your budget. You can negotiate to get the greatest amount of results for the least amount of money, keeping your budget on track.

Handshake puts users in touch with brands and rewards them for who they are and what they are into (encouraging honesty). So your business can talk one-on-one with the right kind of people. This is a great way to get people’s opinions on new products, customer service experiences, or current ad campaigns, just by launching the Handshake app, or logging into the website, where you can post offers for users, which then become negotiable.

This can go really well or really poorly

For me this has the potential to go two ways, as with most things: bad or fantastic. On the bad side, there is the potential for this to appear “down market,” or beneath some companies. It could feel a bit like pandering, especially to well-established businesses. It also has the potential to be less than efficient. By the time you find a user, or group of users on the site, haggle over the price, and finally get the information you need, you may have been better off using another analytics platform to get what you need quickly. On the other hand, it could be pragmatic for well-established businesses to get less-biased opinions because you would be posing the questions to an audience genuinely wanting to give answers; and honesty can be a hard thing to find in the marketing world.

I think this is another situation where you need to weigh what is offered: honest opinions and negotiable rates, against the potential downfalls: efficient management of time and brand perception (will people think less of my business if I use this) and decide what works best for your situation. Since Handshake is currently taking application for Beta-testers, it will be interesting to see what improvements come in the final release in the next few months.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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