The latest intentions of the European Commission, expressed in its proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content, to establish data (personal or not) as an alternative way of payment could create major challenges in the Digital Single Market.
Maybe it is tempting to treat data as a currency, but in reality one needs to be careful, not least because the protection of personal data is a fundamental right in the EU. That is not however the only reason why personal data should not be treated like a currency; here are a few other reasons.
Inability to evaluate and monetize data
Unlike money, data is not easily defined in terms of quantity or price. Even if we are all aware of the data we own, nobody knows exactly what it is worth.
The difficulty in pricing data in monetary terms derives partly from the fact that its value originates from data’s various applications and not the data itself. The insights that can be derived from data are much more valuable than the data itself.
Therefore, in a case where data will alternatively be used as a payment method, the inability to precisely value it could set a huge question mark on the value of transactions, which is not good for any of the involved parties.