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(Pocket-lint) - Tracking personal data and invading your privacy is one thing, but making money from it just adds insult to injury. That's what online companies have been doing for years. Now a study has been carried out to see just what your data is really worth.

Data information about groups of people, that define trends, and ultimately help companies market products more accurately is worth big money. But on an individual level nobody has looked into how much we could make selling our personal data until now.

Google and the University of Trento in Italy performed a study on participants in a lab as well as real world users. The results showed people could make €700, or £560, per year if they were paid what they see as fair for their personal data. It also revealed going on holiday is worth even more.

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The highest valued piece of data was location. When one participant went on holiday during the study it added value to the data owing to the huge location variation. Next most valuable was calls, then apps then media.

How to downgrade iOS and keep your data

At this stage the study was simply paying participants what they thought their data was worth. But it shows Google is interested in paying individuals for data. With security tightening up around personal data the days of taking it for free may be coming to a close for big companies.

While we doubt these companies will be dealing out cash users may soon get vouchers, to the Play Store from Google for example, which is better than the nothing we're getting now. Especially when you consider it could mean we also have control over what we choose to share.

READ: How to see who’s tracking you online and stop them easily, why give away your data for free?

Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 10 July 2014.