Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is Handshake?

    A: Handshake is a secure marketplace for personal data, which creates better relationships between consumers and brands. You can share as much or as little personal data with selected brands as you want to, and will receive rewards based on how hot (or not) your information is. For the brands involved, this means better data, real-time customer interactions and much more positive relationships based on that better data.

  • Q: So how does it work?

    A: You build up your Handshake profile so that brands that want to talk to people like you get in touch through the app. Obviously they need to know that you're 'people like you' first, which is why you need to build up your profile. The more you share about yourself, the more likely you are to appear on their radar. When a brand gets in touch, they will tell you what they would like you to do and make you an offer of a reward.

    You can decide whether to accept their offer - or make a counter offer if you think that your time or data is worth more. Depending on how many other people respond, the brand will say yes or no to your counter offer. Or even counter your offer with another!

    Over time, our weekly 'market reports' will help you improve your negotiating and see what other people are earning and how they're doing it, so that you can get the most out of your earning potential.

  • Q: How do I get started?

    A: Simply sign up to Handshake when it goes live, log in and start building your online profile. From time to time we'll send you surveys that will guide you to provide information in areas that we know brands are interested in.

    You can enter as much or as little information as you want, and can come back and continue at any time. Remember: the more information you give, the more likely you are to get offers.

  • Q: How do I get rewarded?

    A: That depends on the requests you answer. Brands can reward you in many different ways, one of which is cold, hard cash. You can see in your profile how much cash you have in your Handshake account and can withdraw as much as you like as long as the balance is over £10/€10/$10 as appropriate.

    You can also track the status of non-monetary rewards such as airtime minutes, data or even bottles of wine - although delivery of these will happen outside of the Handshake app. Our app is clever, but it can't produce bottles of wine yet, sorry.

  • Q: What is the minimum and maximum cost I can negotiate for my data?

    A: That depends entirely on exactly what the brand wants from you and how unique your handshake is. The more valuable the data you provide, the more brands will reward you.

  • Q: How much time does it take to answer the questionnaire/ respond to a brand?

    A: This depends on the type of request - it could be a simple yes or no answer, a request to attend an experience day, or to view and comment on an advertisement. It could be as simple as turning on the GPS on your mobile phone. You'll always know what's needed from you before you accept the request though, don't worry.

  • Q: How much money can I expect to make from sharing my personal data over the course of a year?

    A: Rewards come in many forms and money is only one option. Total rewards can vary hugely depending on how unique your Handshake is, how much data you put in your profile (how visible you are to those brands, basically) and how many brands you want to engage with.

  • Q: What's my stake as a Beta tester worth?

    A: We want to offer the people who help us test and improve Handshake a chance to share in our success. So we're offering 10% of the value of the company to those of you who help us, shared between successful applicants. The value of individual shares will depend on the activities that beta testers undertake and the total number of beta testers that get involved.

    At this stage we expect an individual's share to be worth about £150, but depending on the success of the business this could increase many times. If Handshake does well then so do all of us, but of course that cuts both ways so that if we end up tanking, then we all could end up with nothing. Zip. Nada. Sorry.

  • Q: When does the Beta launch?

    A: We are beta testing now! If you haven’t already applied to beta test, and would like to, please apply at

  • Q: How do I get in touch?

    A: Send us an email or tweet @handshakeusers

  • Q: How much of an issue is the sharing of personal data?

    A: Ever received an email from a business you've never heard of, trying to sell you something you don't want, at a price that made your jaw drop? Of course you have. We all have. Companies can buy our names and personal information from any of the data companies out there. The details of our lives can float around online, unsecured and sold to anyone who'll pay.

    What's worse is that the data is usually out of date or just plain inaccurate. So, aside from the fact that the email might have mangled your name or mistakenly aged you by 40 years, what they're selling isn't even useful to you.

    The world is changing and the smart companies know they need to change too. Handshake gives both of you a new way to communicate - but one that's firmly on your side.

  • Q: How much does it cost to use?

    A: At a base level, Handshake is free. The only investment you need to make is in your time to set up your profile. The more data you have to trade, the better the offers - and therefore the rewards - you can expect.

  • Q: How can you guarantee that my data on the Handshake platform is absolutely secure?

    A: Sadly there's no such thing as a 100% guarantee. However, we are on track to achieve these industry-standard security policies:

    SSAE 16, previously called SAS 70, is a widely recognised auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

    SSAE 16 verifies a service organisation has been through an in-depth audit of its control objectives and control activities to ensure processing and hosting customer data is done safely and securely.

    ISO 27001 certification is the leading international standard for measuring information security management systems. It sets out requirements and best practices for a systematic approach to managing company and customer information based on periodic risk assessments appropriate to ever-changing threat scenarios.

    As a handler of confidential customer data, Handshake is in the business of protecting data. By voluntarily submitting to a SSAE 16 audit and applying for ISO 27001 certification, we show our commitment to the data we hold and our readiness to face the growing threats to digital information.

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