People Are Willing to Trade Personal Data for Edible Cookies

Hundreds of New Yorkers handed over personal data like fingerprints, social security numbers and photos in exchange for a home-made cookie.

personal data

Artist Risa Puno conducted this sweet experiment to see how much her cookies were worth: She asked hungry New Yorkers to hand over personal data in exchange for cookies. The result? About 380 people were willing to hand over info like fingerprints, social security numbers and even photos, in order to get a sweet bite of her cookies in flavors like “Chocolate Chili Fleur de Sel” and “Pink Pistachio Peppercorn.”


As it turns out, people’s attitude and behavior towards personal security varies wildly, even if they value privacy. While some may have asked Puno what she intended to do with their data, she referred them to her Terms of Service — a fine print basically stating that she can do anything with the information, including posting it publicly. Even so, she was able to gather 117 fingerprints in exchange for sweet eats. What’s more, one user even tweeted about how he gave up his data for a cookie.

Like Skobac, many users were perfectly happy to share personal information for cookies, but Puno was also surprised that many people were willing to share more info than necessary.