Keen On… Michael Fertik: Why Data is the New Oil and Why We, the Consumer, Aren't Benefitting From It

As he told me when he came into our San Francisco studio earlier this week, CEO & Founder Michael Fertik is “ecstatic” about our new reputation economy. In today’s Web 3.0 personal data rich economy, reputation is replacing cash, Fertik believes. And he is confident that his company,, is well placed to become the new rating index of this digital ecosystem.

But Fertik isn’t ecstatic about the way in which new online products, such as facial recognition technology, are exploiting the privacy of online consumers. Arguing that “data is the new oil,” Fertik believes that the only people not benefitting from today’s social economy are consumers themselves. Rather than government legislation, however, the solution, Fertik told me, are more start-up entrepreneurs like himself providing paid products that empower consumers in our Web 3.0 world of pervasive personalized data.

This is the second and final part of my interview with Fertik. Yesterday, he explained to me why people will pay for privacy.

Why data is the new oil

On publicness, transparency, and getting naked

How entrepreneurs should build privacy companies