I found the latest idea pretty funny - actually trying to monetize your data instead of letting companies do it for you is kind of a cute turnabout. In any case, please do view this project as an artistic endeavour - a work of satire.
A more detailed reddit thread about them:
Your clarification here makes your intention far clearer than your original comment did. It doesn't look like you're concerned with how we might be paid; instead, you're attempting to shine a light on the problem of being paid for our personal data / intruding on our privacy at all. Am I parsing you correctly now?
You’d be selling personally authentic data as opposed to noisy metrics. I don’t know what good the marketers would provide you. Possibly free services (email) sans trackers.
But, imagine if they were selling a real-time feed of what they're actually browsing. Imagine if authenticity verification was possible by closed software and hardware (totally not pointing android here). Then the data would definitely be worth something. And the more "clients" you have, the more they're worth.
"Being able to pretend I rode an elephant in Thailand really helped my confidence"
Yay, it's 1999, and disintermediation is the word.
The counter-argument to that, which is also presented in the book, can be summarized as the resolution to Adam Smith's "diamond-water" paradox (roughly, why is it that while water is more useful, in terms of survival, than diamonds, diamonds command a higher price in the market). The answer is that the price is determined by the marginal value of the last unit of good available rather than the average value gained by its consumption. So while the average value of personal data is high (you can build a service like Google or Facebook) the single unit value (as in the OP) is low. I'm more convinced by this side of the argument.
This was my reaction to 95% of the book. Until Radical Markets, I'd never read a nonfiction book that I found so absurd and detached from reality and yet provoked so much useful thought. I worry that others may not realize how detached it is, and that the net effect may not be positive, but we'll see.
This is a really interesting category. Makes me think about other books I've read that are a bit like that. I'd probably put Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance in there. Maybe Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan as well.
"false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes
a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness: and when this is done, one path
towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time
> This assumes that a single unit of data (say a person's personal data as in the OP) is worth something on it's own.
This is your assumption about other's assumption. Not true.
Data is the opposite of the paradox of value, in that one person's data is completely useless, but each additional person worth of data adds a greater and greater marginal utility (probably not linearly so, maybe an s-curve or something). Is this what you are saying?
I haven't read the book you link so perhaps that is why I misunderstand.
Scarcity on it's own doesn't explain it. Your grandma's locket is scarce (only 1) yet no one will pay anything for it.
If your data has to be re-imported into the various systems that normally exchange consumer profiles (advertising platforms for instance) it will be a net loss, besides that the chances of you hitting one of the properties is nil. So without the association between your profile and your online presence that data has little value on its own and as a single profile.
But in bulk, with a correct association between your profile, your recent online queries, expenditures, location and so on it becomes valuable.
One of the issues I found was while I could easily charge people for the sale of large amounts of personal data the way to pay out would probably be in some kind of ACH with a minimum amount of money to accumulate for that.
> What’s Not Included
> Permission to steal my identity and open a sweat shop.
On the other hand, the bar for identity theft is so low, that it probably wouldn't matter.
These companies provide services that you, a user of their platforms, want. Providing those services is not free, and yet the prevailing sentiment across the internet seems to be, "Wow, I can't believe FB was using my data to sell me ads!"
Wow, I can't believe FB was using my data to sell me ads!
No one should have such power without testee's consent. But opt-out empowered them. And the ability to gain insights (with such procedure) on different crowds witch leads to the ability to manipulate the general public makes me nervous.
I don't expect stuff on the internet to be free of charge, but people don't want to pay with money doesn't justify the current business model. You know what is worse? People paid, yet their data is still being collected and used, only less ads.
If what I said is unreasonable or non-sense, please feel free to downvote me, but also please share your thoughts to me. I'd love to change my mind since it's getting really hard to surf the internet these days with my current mindset. It's not the internet I love any more.
This is peer pressure and has nothing to do with the way Facebook monetize its product.
Sure it does. Facebook relies on the concept of peer pressure and people's desire for a sense of belonging to continue to monetize its product. They know that human connections aren't fungible, so they can gain adoption through local monopolies.
Every single social network relies on this concept; the way it’s monetized is independant of that.
So monetization results are entirely dependent on having those people subscribed.
Thus all the emphasis on techniques to get people hooked/attracted/addicted etc.
That’s sort of an operating cost/basic imperative to the social network.
So when you say it’s independent , what do you mean?
We agree that "monetization results are entirely dependent on having those people subscribed". What I’m saying is the _way_ Facebook does that monetization (with ads) is independent of that. If Facebook were a subscription-based service, it’d still rely on those "techniques to get people hooked/attracted/addicted etc". So you can’t complain about Facebook’s ad-based model by saying it encourages peer pressure because the latter would still exist even if there weren’t ads.
Obviously I can only answer this conclusively for one person, but it's de-humanising. It turns your online life, which is increasingly becoming a larger part of many people's normal life, into a Truman show; you--with your ups and downs and whereabouts, become a hapless player in a ruthless monetising game of which the goal is to siphon agency of your own life away from you.
Others might have their own reasons
> These companies provide services that you, a user of their platforms, want.
Want, but might not want at all cost. If enough users do not want to pay the asking price, some of these companies might revisit their race to the bottom approach. Some of them existed and were profitable before tracking become big and pervasive.
> Providing those services is not free
No, but being profitable is not a concern that overrides everything else. Maybe for the company it is, but a society has every right to say, "You can be as profitable as you want within these confines."
But what does this mean functionally?
I don't mean to disparage your argument, but I've never been able to get a clear answer on actual pain points from Facebook data mongering, answers are always some variation of above, which I take to mean "it's icky, I dunno, it's just icky."
Practically, this is centralization of information and it’s sale which is enabling people to target and herd ideas and behaviors in ways we do not have responses to.
Not that this is very new as a phenomenon! But the tools available today allow this to be mechanized.
So where artisanal bakers would have to make campaigns and do all of the data gathering and follow up work on their own, we’ve now made factories to do this.
Since essentially we are talking about collective concepts, consent and beliefs being influenced in an automated manner, this is “different” than what has come before.
If somebody can put better words to this, please do. I'm not well-versed in Sociological Things.
There are lots of things in there I didn't want known and remembered. Many embarrassing, cringy, inaccurate, unfortunately accurate, depressing, stupid things. Past interests, teenage angst, bullying, fedora edgelord material, unflattering photos, mean things I've said and had said to me, controversial political opinions, things I've come to disagree with, relationships and so on.
There exist vast public, semi-public, and buyable records of my life full of things I'd rather not even remember myself, let alone have corporations remember for me and highest bidders.
My core concern with eliminating the gap separating what corporations/governments know and the reality of people's lives is the smaller that gap becomes the less robust our democracy is on a very fundamental level.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal is the first major glimpse of what this enables and how it threatens our democracy.
I encourage you to watch the series The Century of the Self. It's a bit dated by now, but it illustrates a pretty clear lineage easily extrapolated to where we've arrived today.
It's important to protect the privacy of the public. There must be some uncertainty and substantial error when it comes to campaigns to influence the people.
When people say "I have nothing to hide", what they don't realize is that the fact they have nothing to hide is something to hide. The other side certainly has things to hide, and they benefit from having total visibility into what you're aware of.
Your search query may have just saved you more than that on car insurance alone. I've gotten arguably many many thousands of dollars of value from Google in my life.
I think you're simply not considering the immense value good internet search adds to life.
These two aspects are the marginal change that people are focused on now. (From my perspective).
That’s why, imo, there’s no mention of how valuable search is, same way there’s no mention of how useful browsers are.
Buy a microwave oven on Amazon, for example, and now you're seeing microwaves everywhere. If you browse Youtube with cookies enabled, it's a terribly limited experience compared to with cookies blocked. The recommendations are circular within the topics you've browsed and never expose you to the broad content out there. It's a much better experience when recommendations are simply associated with the video you're currently watching, instead of from your viewing history. The data selling effect causes this sort of thing to percolate among your entire web experience.
Another is simply monetization of the self without being part of that direct monetization stream. To some people, if actual money is made off them, it seems unfair they don't get a cut. Receiving services doesn't suffice in those people's minds.
Many people are fine with sites selling ad space & what's being viewed, but are not fine with their personal information being attached to it, for basic privacy concerns.
So, of course, there's the Big Brother aspect which is socially unhealthy, and has chilling effects on freedom of expression. Obviously, there is strong, negatively associated generational memory still in play from places like North Korea and Nazi Germany, where people are/were constantly spied on for "incorrect" beliefs and statements. Certainly the personal data collection & warehousing portion of this industry can evoke similar fears here. People have already experienced negative effects like ending up on no-fly lists for zero understandable reason, presumably because of government snooping with false positives or incorrect association with similarly-named people.
Imagine if every time you went to a store, a federal agent followed you around with a clipboard with 2 columns labeled "Terrorist?" and "Child predator?". For every item you looked at, the agent would make marks evaluating how much that reflects one of the two columns. You're an upstanding citizen with zero affiliation to those categories, yet marks are being made. That's what online surveillance (for whatever reason, including PII-linked advertising) feels like to many. Even if the columns are "only" political affiliation or touchy social issues, the same response can be had.
This is very subjective. You cannot speak for everyone, and meanwhile Youtube generates petabytes of analytics every day showing what people really like, down to each individual.
You receive less information online when these systems are employed, ie more repetition in the same space. Youtube optimizes for maximizing the viewing time across the most common types of viewing associations, namely people watching for entertainment, not looking for information. If you ever look for information in a new topic, you tend to be signposted back towards your old time-sink staples from your history instead.
Certainly, one can also point to algorithmic enforcement of echo chambers, which would be a subjective value judgment as well. It feels good in immediate practice (and can increase viewing time), but many don't view it as a net positive at scale for social issues. Yet for things like small-scale hobbies, it can be beneficial.
it seems like your issue is more with the inefficiency of the various algorithms rather than the use of data per se. And you re right, e.g. right now my supposedly AI youtube is full of the same type of videos.
> seems unfair they don't get a cut
This may ring true on the surface, but people always make money out of other people, by definition. Compensation would not work, it would be like buying a pair of shoes and then expecting to get a partial refund. One issue however is that users in this case do not have a mechanism to affect the price personalized ads so in total it seems unfair.
> and Nazi Germany,
I think you mean cold war germany. in any case it is interesting how the latest EU law completely ignores that aspect of privacy.
> a federal agent followed you a
Good point, being tracked does feel like you re being followed by an annoying salesperson. This IMHO is more annoying than the gathering of private data takes place on the internet. Privacy is not the default mode of life, in fact there are few places where one goes to when he wants to be private. Most of life involves interaction with other people and nonprivacy. One could even claim that this kind of privacy is not violated with things like ad tracking, as it happens behind screens, in safety and with relative control from the user. Of course there need to be limits to when and where this information can be gathered.
I'd think of it more like treating any consumer of a product as an investor at the same time
Advertisers typically aren't interested in single person (personal) data. The minimum size aggregate audience is 1M people to have any advertising value.
 https://datum.org/ https://wibson.org/ https://datawallet.com/
So their selling other people's data too?
I was answering that particular question. Either you didn't get it or you pretended to not get it, hard to tell the difference from here.
Streamr is a marketplace to sell your data streams (vs static data in this case).
Very nice touch.
What if I just do one of those things? This guy needs a lawyer.
When you sell digitally delivered goods on eBay, you must include a statement in your listing that says you legally own the content or are authorized to sell it.
 http://trademyinfo.libsora.so/ (in Korean)
 https://libsora.so/posts/trade-my-info-warning-or-kr/ (in Korean)
As many people have observed, the current digital economy really already facilitates you monetizing your data, by allowing you to have access to innumerable resources for free. Those resources don't cost zero to operate, but you pay for them with your data.
Ebay are processing the data as instructed by the data subject (Art 6. 1a) for the fulfillment of a contract to sell the data (Art 6. 2b).