The Shanghai Data Exchange, launched in November 2021, is reportedly gearing up to go international. The announcement came from the 2022 Global Data Ecosystem Conference, held in Singapore this November. The Shanghai Data Exchange aims to build “a data factor market” and “promote data capitalization.” Or, in plain terms, it wants to create a stock exchange for personal data.

If that sounds dystopian, don’t lose hope yet. Several states, most prominently California, have recently passed laws that give consumers the right to opt out of having their data sold to third parties. Vermont has gone further by becoming the first state to regulate data brokering as an industry. Still, data brokering is obscenely lucrative, with some market projections expecting the data brokering industry to hit $365.71 billion dollars by 2029. The market is ripe for this type of international data exchange, with traders buying, selling, and investing in personal data as a commodity. Lawmakers, and the American people, will likely need to continue grappling with how to protect privacy in the face of this burgeoning powerhouse.