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How much is your data worth?

Calculation experiment shows how much money social networks make from our screen time - per minute, day, month and year.

In just a few short years, social media platforms have radically changed life. They have become a means of communication, a news channel, TV, a diary, a partner exchange and a virtual meeting place.

Two thirds of Germans use one or more offers from the big players Google, Meta, Twitter and TikTok every day.

The regular offerings of the best-known social networks are free for users, and yet the internet giants still generate annual sales in the billions. Here's how Meta ended its 2021 fiscal year with $118 billion in revenue. During the same period, TikTok generated more than $58 billion in revenue and Twitter generated approximately $XNUMX billion in revenue.

How such sums are possible is no longer a secret. The platforms finance themselves primarily through the sale of target group-specific advertising placements and the commercial exploitation of their users' data. Some social networks also sell records directly to third parties. The platforms can be granted the right to do so in the terms of use.

Even the billions in sales make it clear how valuable our personal data is.

Consumers are part of a modern barter system. Comprehensive, digital tracking against the free use of the platforms.

Private data as a gold mine: Balance sheets provide information about sales per user

Personal data is the new gold, and that's why the boom in social networking and media is the gold rush of the 21st century. This leads us to the question, what is my data worth? How much money do companies like Meta, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube and Snapchat make from their users and every minute they spend on the platform. Information and figures that are hidden deep in the quarterly reports and balance sheets of companies provide information about this. Our data analysts from heyData took a close look at this and read the so-called Average Revenue per User (ARPU, German: Average Revenue per User). On this basis and with the help of other data, such as average screen time, we were able to publish a small calculation experiment that shows how much social media and networks earn with our data and thus also answers the question: What is our data worth?

That's what our data is worth

● After one year of tracking and with average screen time, the Meta platforms market the personal data obtained from a user for approx Euro 200.

● With every minute that a user clicks Facebook or Instagram spends, the platforms earn about two cents.

Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat users must stay on the platform for at least two minutes to earn a dime. Youtube even takes five minutes of screen time to turn over one dime.

● Users who spend more than 33 minutes a day on Facebook or more than 29 minutes a day on Instagram generate higher sales for Meta. For this reason, social networks try to keep their users on the platform for as long as possible. Meta earns about two cents per minute of screen time from its users.

● Meta has perfected the marketing of personal data, as the comparison of annual sales shows in particular. While Facebook and Instagram generate around 200 euros per user per year, TikTok currently only generates just under 66 euros, Twitter around 54 euros and YouTube just under 29 euros per year and user.

Sources

● Average daily usage of platforms in minutes: eMarketer (data from 2017-2022), Digital 2022: Global Overview Report

● Average Revenue per User (ARPU): Facebook: Meta Earnings Presentation Q2 2022), Instagram: Own calculations are based on Insider Intelligence, data report “Instagram Statistics and Trends”, TikTok: Insider Intelligence/ eMarketer, Twitter: Insider Intelligence/ eMarketer, Youtube : Own calculation based on seekingalpha, Quarterly Report alphabet Q2/2022, Insider Intelligence and Digital 2022: Global Overview Report, Snapchat: Quarterly Report Snap Inc. Q4/2021

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Europe In The Data Protection Ranking

With the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, the European Union set a milestone in the history of data protection that has received great international recognition. With the aim of achieving a common high level of data protection, rules for the protection of personal information have been standardized for the entire European Union for the first time. In a growing digitized world, in which theoretically every activity can be tracked and personal data generates high financial profits, the possibilities of individuals to control their personal information are limited. At this point, the regulation has created a dense network of rights and obligations that give consumers power and control over their data back.

heyData knows data protection from its daily work with companies. Therefore, three years after the introduction of the GDPR, we wanted to use this study to find out how close the European countries have come when it comes to the level of data protection and to discover which points still need improvement. To do this, we examined the majority of the EU member states, Norway, which also implemented the EU GDPR, and the United Kingdom, in which the regulation was in effect until Brexit.

The study focuses on five overarching categories, which we have evaluated in 24 sub-points using data and statistics from well-known sources, such as the European Commission or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A comparison of the EU countries was made possible by a simple mathematical point system. The result is the following data protection ranking, which shows the nations with the actually highest data protection level - Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands - at the top.

Europe In Comparison

Enforcement of Laws

Data Protection Violations

% Increase in Data Protection Violations During Pandemic

Fines (€)

Companies

Data Protection Strategy

Privacy Team

Compulsory Voluntary Training

Further Training

Data Loss

Data Leak

Insurance Cover

Individual Data Protection

Smartphone Malware

Computer Malware

Payment Fraud

Phishing

Data Protection Competence

Advertising

Browser

Cookies

Tracking

Social Media

Apps

Cloud

Social Mood About Data Protection

Fear of Data Abuse

Authority Over Data

Overall Winners in the Data Protection Ranking

Position
Country
Final
Evaluation
Enforcement
Of Laws
Companies
Individual Data Protection
Privacy-
Expertise
Social
Mood
1
Ireland
100,0
80,6
85,1
100,0
43,9
100,0
2
Germany
80,3
74,6
60,9
81,9
70,9
66,7
3
Netherlands
73,6
88,8
50,9
50,0
95,6
51,3
4
United Kingdom
64,8
52,1
100,0
9,2
58,4
92,3
5
Denmark
59,5
73,1
98,3
0,0
82,3
43,6
6
Finland
58,9
38,9
51,0
64,8
100,0
41,0
7
Belgium
44,3
5,3
51,7
72,1
46,6
79,5
8
Sweden
41,2
100,0
65,3
9,2
72,1
0,0
9
Italy
38,5
79,0
73,2
33,4
0,0
53,8
10
Austria
37,3
2,2
38,7
85,0
68,8
41,0
11
France
31,0
54,5
38,5
12,9
40,7
71,8
12
Latvia
27,8
2,1
63,1
64,2
13,5
66,7
13
Luxembourg
27,4
27,4
35,9
9,8
58,4
76,9
14
Poland
23,0
7,9
35,1
69,9
21,9
61,5
15
Spain
18,6
18,7
55,2
4,6
54,2
51,3
16
Estonia
17,3
0,9
47,3
88,1
41,8
2,6
17
Greece
16,1
1,2
21,8
93,1
7,3
53,8
18
Slovenia
15,7
32,1
30,9
50,6
26,4
35,9
19
Norway
12,9
26,2
45,5
4,2
64,2
28,2
20
Lithuania
0,8
0,0
29,9
76,2
13,3
15,4
21
Hungary
0,0
6,1
0,0
9,0
45,7
71,8

Enforcement of Laws

Position
Country
Category Evaluation
Data Protection Violations
Points
% Increase in Data Protection Violations During Pandemic
%
Points
Fines (€)
Points
1
Sweden
100
119
30,4
1,6 %
71,7
€111,352
95,8
2
Netherlands
89
382
100,0
2,4 % OFF
75,6
14,591
12,6
3
Ireland
81
345
90,2
1,5 % OFF
74,7
14,402
12,4
4
Italy
79
6
0,6
23,4 %
50,8
116,242
100,0
5
Germany
75
93
23,8
76,2 %
0,0
83,068
71,5
6
Denmark
73
325
85,0
36,2 %
38,5
9,811
8,4
7
France
55
8
1,2
10,6 % OFF
83,4
80,862
69,6
8
United Kingdom
52
46
11,1
27,9 % OFF
100,0
65,976
56,8
9
Finland
39
187
48,6
1,6 %
71,7
3,755
3,2
10
Slovenia
32
168
43,5
52,3 %
23,0
0
0,0
11
Luxembourg
27
147
37,9
8,7 %
64,9
0
0,0
12
Norway
26
91
23,1
3,5 %
69,9
15,432
13,3
13
Spain
19
7
0,9
54,7 %
20,7
30,613
26,3
14
Poland
8
42
10,3
63,6 %
12,1
4,494
3,9
15
Hungary
6
16
3,3
72,4 %
3,6
10,031
8,6
16
Belgium
5
22
4,8
26,0 %
48,3
7,251
6,2
17
Austria
2
28
6,5
18,3 % OFF
90,8
797
0,7
18
Latvia
2
14
2,9
13,7 % OFF
86,4
4,869
4,2
19
Greece
1
3
0,0
14,2 % OFF
86,9
6,951
6,0
20
Estonia
1
25
5,6
14,0 %
59,7
31
0,0
21
Lithuania
0
11
2,0
62,7 %
13,0
2,89
2,5

Companies

Position
Country
Category Evaluation
Data Protection Strategy
%
Points
Data Protection Team
%
Points
Continuing Education Voluntary
%
Points
Compulsory Training
%
Points
Data Loss
%
Points
Data Leak
%
Points
Insurance Cover
%
Points
1
United Kingdom
100
40
%
93,8
45,0
%
0,0
60,0
%
100,0
37
%
84,4
2
%
100,0
1
%
100,0
46
%
80,8
2
Denmark
98
42
%
100,0
69,0
%
75,0
52,0
%
77,8
35
%
78,1
4
%
71,4
2
%
50,0
56
%
100,0
3
Ireland
85
42
%
100,0
61,0
%
50,0
59,0
%
97,2
35
%
78,1
5
%
57,1
2
%
50,0
39
%
67,3
4
Italy
73
28
%
56,3
66,0
%
65,6
47,0
%
63,9
35
%
78,1
4
%
71,4
1
%
100,0
13
%
17,3
5
Sweden
65
39
%
90,6
59,0
%
43,8
44,0
%
55,6
26
%
50,0
8
%
14,3
1
%
100,0
39
%
67,3
6
Latvia
63
25
%
46,9
74,0
%
90,6
60,0
%
100,0
20
%
31,3
7
%
28,6
1
%
100,0
12
%
15,4
7
Germany
61
27
%
53,1
68,0
%
71,9
49,0
%
69,4
17
%
21,9
5
%
57,1
1
%
100,0
20
%
30,8
8
Spain
55
25
%
46,9
67,0
%
68,8
41,0
%
47,2
21
%
34,4
7
%
28,6
1
%
100,0
33
%
55,8
9
Belgium
52
27
%
53,1
77,0
%
100,0
42,0
%
50,0
20
%
31,3
6
%
42,9
2
%
50,0
25
%
40,4
10
Finland
51
35
%
78,1
62,0
%
53,1
54,0
%
83,3
25
%
46,9
5
%
57,1
3
%
0,0
28
%
46,2
11
Netherlands
51
32
%
68,8
74,0
%
90,6
35,0
%
30,6
18
%
25,0
5
%
57,1
2
%
50,0
26
%
42,3
12
Estonia
47
18
%
25,0
54,0
%
28,1
44,0
%
55,6
42
%
100,0
3
%
85,7
2
%
50,0
7
%
5,8
13
Norway
46
22
%
37,5
52,0
%
21,9
41,0
%
47,2
29
%
59,4
4
%
71,4
2
%
50,0
33
%
55,8
14
Austria
39
28
%
56,3
60,0
%
46,9
39,0
%
41,7
22
%
37,5
5
%
57,1
2
%
50,0
18
%
26,9
15
France
39
18
%
25,0
67,0
%
68,8
36,0
%
33,3
19
%
28,1
6
%
42,9
2
%
50,0
39
%
67,3
16
Luxembourg
36
22
%
37,5
63,0
%
56,3
39,0
%
41,7
21
%
34,4
6
%
42,9
2
%
50,0
26
%
42,3
17
Poland
35
18
%
25,0
69,0
%
75,0
26,0
%
5,6
32
%
68,8
8
%
14,3
1
%
100,0
11
%
13,5
18
Slovenia
31
26
%
50,0
61,0
%
50,0
44,0
%
55,6
15
%
15,6
8
%
143
1
%
100,0
4
%
0,0
19
Lithuania
30
22
%
37,5
64,0
%
59,4
42,0
%
50,0
21
%
34,4
9
%
0,0
1
%
100,0
4
%
0,0
20
Greece
22
10
%
0,0
57,0
%
37,5
24,0
%
0,0
10
%
0,0
4
%
71,4
1
%
100,0
25
%
40,4
21
Hungary
0
13
%
9,4
45,0
%
0,0
33,0
%
25,0
10
%
0,0
7
%
28,6
1
%
100,0
4
%
0,0

Individual Data Protection

Position
Country
Category Evaluation
Smartphone Malware
%
Points
Computer Malware
%
Points
Payment Fraud
%
Points
Phishing
Points
1
Ireland
100
2
%
85,7
1,6
%
88,8
0,1
%
100,0
0,93
%
68,9
2
Greece
93
4
%
57,1
2,4
%
79,8
0,6
%
93,0
0,5
%
84,7
3
Estonia
88
1
%
100,0
2,7
%
76,0
1,3
%
82,5
0,7
%
76,7
4
Austria
85
3
%
71,4
0,6
%
100,0
2,1
%
72,6
0,4
%
91,9
5
Germany
82
3
%
71,4
1,1
%
94,4
1,0
%
87,6
0,63
%
81,4
6
Lithuania
76
3
%
71,4
0,6
%
99,9
0,3
%
96,5
0,2
%
98,5
7
Belgium
72
4
%
57,1
1,2
%
93,0
1,9
%
74,2
1,0
%
68,0
8
Poland
70
4
%
57,1
0,7
%
99,1
0,4
%
95,6
0,2
%
100,0
9
Finland
65
3
%
71,4
2 ,, 4
%
79,8
1,7
%
77,6
0,9
%
68,8
10
Latvia
64
4
%
57,1
0,7
%
98,7
1,0
%
87,4
0,3
%
95,8
11
Slovenia
51
4
%
57,1
1,3
%
92,1
1,9
%
74,9
0,6
%
84,3
12
Netherlands
50
3
%
71,4
1,5
%
90,2
2,2
%
71,0
0,80
%
74,4
13
Italy
33
5
%
42,9
1,8
%
86,8
1,9
%
75,0
1,0
%
64,7
14
France
13
5
%
42,
2,8
%
74,8
5,4
%
26,4
1,5
%
45,9
15
Luxembourg
10
5
%
42,9
5,4
%
45,4
3,1
%
58,4
0,9
%
69,4
16
United Kingdom
9
1
%
100,0
2,0
%
84,2
7,3
%
0,0
1,9
%
30,6
17
Sweden
9
3
%
71,4
2,3
%
81,0
3,3
%
55,8
2,5
%
6,5
18
Hungary
9
7
%
14,3
9,3
%
0,0
4,9
%
33,7
0,4
%
89,4
19
Spain
5
8
%
0,0
2,4
%
79,2
3,1
%
58,0
1,0
%
67,3
20
Norway
4
4
%
57,1
2,1
%
83,5
4,4
%
40,8
2,1
%
21,9
21
Denmark
0
4
%
57,1
1,8
%
86,5
5,6
%
23,2
2,6
%
0,0

Data Protection Competence

Position
Country
Category Evaluation
Advertising
%
Points
Browser
%
Points
Cookies
%
Points
Tracking
%
Points
Social Media
%
Points
Apps
%
Points
Smartphone
Points
Cloud
%
Points
1
Finland
100
69,7
%
94,2
41,5
%
91,2
50,1
%
100,0
22,2
%
37,1
56,7
%
87,3
67
%
97,5
22
100,0
50
%
55,3
2
Netherlands
96
72,6
%
100,0
41,4
%
90,9
46,8
%
89,7
29,7
%
54,2
62,7
%
100,0
64
%
90,0
14
52,9
51
%
57,9
3
Denmark
82
63,5
%
81,9
44,2
%
100,0
32,6
%
45,3
25,7
%
45,1
48,8
%
70,6
61
%
82,5
11
35,3
65
%
94,7
4
Sweden
72
43,6
%
42,6
41,5
%
91,1
29,3
%
35,1
26,0
%
45,7
40,
4%
52,6
68
%
100,0
10
29,4
66
%
97,4
5
Germany
71
62,8
%
80,5
30,7
%
55,5
49,1
%
97,1
18,2
%
28,0
40,1
%
52,0
65
%
92,5
17
70,6
33
%
10,5
6
Austria
69
60,3
%
75,6
42,2
%
93,4
36,9
%
59,0
12,1
%
14,0
53,8
%
81,1
53
%
62,5
16
64,7
38
%
23,7
7
Norway
64
47,0
%
49,3
38,8
%
82,2
27,3
%
28,8
24,5
%
42,3
36,8
%
45,1
67
%
97.5
10
29,4
56
%
71,1
8
United Kingdom
58
55,2
%
65,4
28,9
%
49,4
33,7
%
48,8
27,4
%
48,8
45,3
%
63,1
44
%
40,0
10
29,4
54
%
65,8
9
Luxembourg
58
38,4
%
32,2
36,0
%
73,1
40,4
%
69,7
20,3
%
32,7
29,6
%
29,8
63
%
87,5
12
41,2
46
%
44,7
10
Spain
54
62,2
%
79,5
18,3
%
14,4
28,9
%
33,9
13,9
18,2
53,8
%
81,1
57
%
72,5
12
41., 2
46
%
44,7
11
Belgium
47
40,9
%
37,1
15,1
%
3,8
31,4
%
41,5
49,9
%
100,0
27,8
%
25,9
50
%
55,0
9
23,5
49
%
52,6
12
Hungary
46
40,2
%
35,8
25,6
%
38,4
27,2
%
28,4
17,5
%
26,3
35,6
%
42,5
46
%
45,0
8
17,6
67
%
100,0
13
Ireland
44
50,4
%
56,0
15,3
%
4,5
29,6
%
35,9
9,9
%
9,1
42,7
%
57,7
51
%
57,5
13
47,1
50
%
55,3
14
Estonia
42
35,8
%
27,1
25,4
%
38,0
34,5
%
51,3
20,5
%
33,1
27,4
%
25,1
50
%
55,0
12
41,2
44
%
39,5
15
France
41
43,8
%
43,0
25,7
%
38,9
32,8
%
46,1
19,3
%
30,5
34,6
%
40,3
53
%
62,5
10
29,4
34
%
13,2
16
Slovenia
26
34,8
%
25,2
22,7
%
29,0
23,3
%
16,4
18,1
%
27,6
24,9
%
19,8
49
%
52,5
8
17,6
40
%
28,9
17
Poland
22
36,2
%
27,9
15,4
%
4,9
26,3
%
25,8
19,5
%
30,9
30,5
%
31,7
46
%
45,0
9
23,5
29
%
0,0
18
Latvia
14
32,0
%
19,5
15,1
%
3,6
23,6
%
17,3
10,6
%
10,6
31,2
%
33,1
40
%
30,0
7
11,8
34
%
13,2
19
Lithuania
13
32,8
%
21,2
21,0
%
23,3
19,9
%
5,8
13,8
%
18,0
27,7
%
25,8
33
%
12,5
5
0,0
41
%
31,6
20
Greece
7
28,6
%
12,8
14,0
%
0,0
23,3
%
16,4
14,3
%
19,0
24,4
%
18,8
33
%
12,5
7
11,8
33
%
10., 5
21
Italy
0
22,1
%
0,0
27,3
%
%
44,3
18,1
%
0,0
5,9
%
0,0
15,6
%
0,0
28
%
0,0
5
0,0
34
%
13,2

Social Mood About Data Protection

Position
Country
Category Evaluation
Fear of Data Abuse
%
Points
Authority Over Data
%
Points
1
Ireland
100
83
%
100,0
26,0
%
65,5
2
United Kingdom
92
80
%
92,3
26,0
%
65,5
3
Belgium
80
75
%
79,5
33,0
%
41,4
4
Luxembourg
77
74
%
76,9
26,0
%
65,5
5
France
72
72
%
71,8
34,0
%
37,9
6
Hungary
72
72
%
71,8
26,0
%
65,5
7
Germany
67
70
%
66,7
45,0
%
0,0
8
Latvia
67
70
%
66,7
31,0
%
48,3
9
Poland
62
68
%
61,5
21,0
%
82,8
10
Italy
54
65
%
53,8
23,0
%
75,9
11
Greece
54
65
%
53,8
22,0
%
79,3
12
Netherlands
51
64
%
51,3
30,0
%
51,7
13
Spain
51
64
%
51,3
36,0
%
31,0
14
Denmark
44
61
%
43,6
26,0
%
65,5
15
Finland
41
60
%
41,0
16,0
%
100,0
16
Austria
41
60
%
41,0
31,0
%
48,3
17
Slovenia
36
58
%
35,9
25,0
%
69,0
18
Norway
28
55
%
28,2
24,0
%
72,4
19
Lithuania
15
50
%
15,4
17,0
%
96,6
20
Estonia
3
45
%
2,6
21,0
%
82,8
21
Sweden
0
44
%
0,0
31,0
%
48,3

Methodology In A Nutshell

The aim of the study is to evaluate the efficiency of data protection measures as well as the data protection competence of consumers in Europe and to compare them at national level. The objects of investigation are all member states of the European Union (with exceptions) as well as the United Kingdom and Norway.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Portugal, Cyprus, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had to be excluded from the study due to insufficient data and to enable a fair comparison between all nations.

For the study, all of the named nations were evaluated in the five research fields “Legal Regulations”, “Companies”, “Private Individuals”, “Data Protection Competence” and “Social Mood”. A total of 24 influencing factors contributed to the final result of the study. All influencing factors were selected based on their informative value in relation to the performance of data protection measures or the data protection competence of consumers.

The result is a ranking of the pioneering nations in terms of data protection. The study ended on May 15, 2021.

A complete presentation of the methodology with all definitions, data and sources can be found here (German version, English version)