Teens would sell their personal information for right amount instead of working says study

According to a survey of teenagers in the U.K., teens who are well aware of the value of their personal data would rather sell it than work.

The study found that the teens would rather accept £15 for their personal information, which is equivalent to the cost of a large pizza, than work for that kind of money. “As consumers, teens clearly understand the commercial value of their personal data,” the report says.

IT solutions and managed service firm Logicalis surveyed some 1,000 U.K. teens aged between 13-17 over a period of 10 days in January. They found the kids to be “instinctively digital” and that they fully understood the value of their personal information. The reports were published in a report titled “The age of digital enlightenment” (PDF).

Logicalis found that almost 42% of survey respondents said they’d rather give away their personal data than work at a job to earn the cash, as long as it resulted “in a better service or deal.”

Logicalis had been looking into differences between the pre-internet generation and “digital natives.” In other words, the ones who have been around digital from the time they were born.

According to the report, the teens spend a lot of time online, too. They are online nine hours a day, either consuming or creating content. There’s an app for pretty much everything, and if there isn’t, they’re bound to make one. 18 percent are currently learning how to code, which is more than double 2013’s figure of 7 percent. On the other hand, 7 percent of the teens have tried hacking.

The report suggests that this percentage means each classroom has at least one hacker, and that it’s extremely important for that potential to be channelled to the benefit of society.

As one might expect, harmful activities are prevalent. A little over half (54 percent) of female teenagers “are regularly reporting inappropriate online behavior, compared to a third (33 percent) of boys,” the study found.

Almost half (44 percent) of the entire group told the researchers they are “not surprised” to be told that their fellow teenagers are “responsible for hacking large corporations.”

“Nineteen percent have themselves been hacked” with 72 percent having an email account compromised and 53% percent having a social network hacked.

Gerry Carroll, author of the report and marketing director at Logicalis UK, says “While some of the statistics around hacking and online behaviour may be alarming, it’s essential we recognise the economic potential of these instinctively digital teenagers. Whether creating new careers in an increasingly digitalised workplace, or nurturing the skills so sorely needed in the IT industry, today’s teenagers are better placed than ever before to achieve the efficiency and productivity promise of IT.”

He added, “Public and private sector organisations should nurture and channel these talents, creating the right opportunities for these digitally enlightened teens to deliver their true dividend.”

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