The data that a given user has generated and is then able/allowed to extract from Facebook using the "Download my Facebook data" option from the "General Account Settings". In this case, the data has been generated between September 2004 and November 2015. This data both provides a representation of the user ('me') as constructed by them, and also a representation that is used in various ways in order to serve online advertisements – both to this user and to others (many of whom are not on Facebook). The data has indeterminate value because it makes little sense for advertisers on its own, and so it has different kinds of value when aggregated.
Where and how is it used?
The data is not easily tracked, it is of indeterminate location – shifting between Facebook data centres, third-party advertisers, personal computers and many points in between and unknown. It is used both as a means of presenting a particular representation of the user and also, as part of different kinds of aggregates with other users' data, in order to serve online advertisements. There are, possibly, many other uses – such as by unknown third parties, which could have bought, stolen or otherwise acquired the data (with or without the knowledge of Facebook or the user).
What did you or someone else pay for it?
I made it, Facebook sells it – I don't know how much for.
Why do you want to add it to the museum?
This isn't an obvious commodity but it is an increasingly powerful one. I downloaded the data to see what it looks like – which is almost certainly not what it looks like in Facebook's own data centres nor is it, I suspect, the complete set of the data Facebook have about me.
How was it made?
Is made in a factory
Is produced by local cottage industry
Is made to particular specifications
Is craft / hand-made
Is a service
Materials & Making
Who made or produced your commodity?
I did, in conjunction with Facebook's software.
Who was paid to make it?
What skills does it take to make it?
Some computer literacy, on my part, and detailed programming knowledge, IT services capacity and power generation, on the part of Facebook.
Where was it made?
In a diverse range of places.
What does it cost to make it?
What is it made from?
1. HTML files:
Hypertext Markup Language files representing and describing the data inputed by the user, and the metadata generated by Facebook.
2. JPEG files:
Joint Photographic Experts Group compressed image files representing photographs uploaded to Facebook by the user.
Buying & Owning
Who decides how much it costs?
Facebook and unknown others
Who or what assesses its quality?
Where is it sold?
Who or what sells it?
Facebook and unknown others
How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?
It arrived on my computer as a .zip compressed archive file.
Where is it used?
Within the various systems that make-up Facebook.
Where is it kept?
Unknown data centres.
How and by whom is it cared for?
How long will it last?
Where will it go when it's finished with?
What is it worth?
What will you pay for it?
How do you and others value this commodity?
See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.
|Total times valued||2|
|Controversy||37 (0 = most controversial)|
What do these numbers mean?
This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.
Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?
Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.
(Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)
The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.
Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
(Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued
Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.
How do you value this commodity?To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
Questions and answers
Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.
Question: Where does this commodity/data travel?
No answers given...yet.
Question: Is this data/commodity worth anything?
My name is Alice Goodbrook and I am a Commodity Consultant for MOCC.
Here is all the information I have found about the monetary value of a Facebook account.
“Ever wondered how much money you're making for Facebook by spending all that time poring over your friends' photos and posting BuzzFeed quizzes about which "Game of Thrones" character you're most like?
For me, the answer, to be taken with a grain of salt, is $20.75 annually. For Google, I'm much more lucrative to the tune of $223. Since Google brought in almost six times as much ad revenue last quarter -- $13.9 billion to Facebook's $2.27 billion -- that kind of gap was to be expected.
These are raw estimates given by PrivacyFix, an app developed by the security software company AVG, based on publicly available data on how much revenue those companies generate per user, with tweaks based on personal usage. It asks permission to tap into a person's Facebook and Google accounts to show them how their privacy settings are configured and take them to where those settings can be adjusted, in addition to presenting their supposed monetary value.
For Facebook, its calibration takes a person's activity -- likes, posts and photos -- into account, as well as how many friends they have. By its reckoning, women are worth 25% more than men. American and Canadian users generate almost 8.5 times as much revenue on average as people in Latin America, Australia and Africa, according to Facebook's own disclosure.
For Google, its calibration of users' "worth" is based on the volume of searches they've conducted in the past 60 days from the specific browser and device they're using at the time -- with the notion that the more you search, the more likely you are to be clicking on an ad at some point. The tool has no way of knowing whether you're searching for some highly lucrative keyword, like a particular diabetes medication, that would bring in tens or even hundreds of dollars for Google. It also can't know if you're the kind of person who makes it a point to never click on paid search results.
While PrivacyFix's numbers are very rough estimates, it's certainly interesting to consider how your usage habits make you a more or less valuable commodity than other users. And also a reminder that intent-based searching is still a much, much more valuable behavior than over-sharing the minutiae of your day or funny memes with your Facebook friends.
Women more valuable
I'm a woman and live in the U.S. -- facts which on their own put me among Facebook's most valuable users -- but I'm apparently a lot less active on Facebook than the average PrivacyFix user, which is bound to constrain my value. The tool says I've liked 35 items in the past month and posted one photo and one update apiece. The average PrivacyFix user likes 130 items per month, posts updates a whopping 110 times (including comments to other users' posts and photos), and publishes nine photos.
I do, however, have 368 Facebook friends -- more than double the average PrivacyFix user's 175.
AVG declined to disclose the number of people who have installed the app, which it released in September.
The most valuable female U.S. users it's tracked yield $37.98 annually for Facebook (compared to my measly $20.75), while the most valuable American men have pitched in $30.38, according to its calculations. The least valuable American women brought in $17.02, while the least valuable men contributed $13.61.
However, it's also possible that publishing and liking activity aren't even the best proxy for Facebook engagement anymore. Users who make less noise might sometimes be more engaged, and Facebook is trying to figure out the patterns underlying that more quiet engagement.
The social network is carefully studying the consumption habits of its users to see what sorts of content individuals are truly immersed in, with the end of showing them more relevant content, according to Slate. Thus, not all "likes" are created equal, and a like given by users after they've actually clicked through to read a piece of content in their news feed should be given more weight than likes by users who've scanned a headline and presumably feel an affinity with it – for reasons political, cultural, or otherwise -- but don't bother to actually click to read the story.
So some quiet Facebook users are potentially still spending an outsized chunk of time on the social network and eyeballing more than their share of ads. They're reading articles and looking at photos without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs made up of likes and comments that PrivacyFix could pick up on.”
Source: How Much Are You Really Worth to Facebook and Google?
“You can tweet all you want on Twitter; you can connect like crazy on LinkedIn, but if you really want to impress Wall Street, you’d better be on Facebook. Some fascinating math shows that Wall Street right now is valuing the average Facebook user at $128 , a touch ahead of Twitter’s $118 — and far above LinkedIn’s skimpy $84….
In Facebook’s case, the underlying business is doing well and growing fast. Facebook has become a profitable advertising powerhouse, pushing up ad revenue 64% last year, to an astonishing $7 billion. The Menlo Park, Calif., company is a product innovator, recently launching new services such as a news-magazine app (Paper) and a way for users to create movies from their posts of the past 10 years. Investors have responded by bidding up Facebook stock more than 13% this year.
What’s more, Facebook keeps getting more ubiquitous all the time. With 1.23 billion active users as of Dec. 31, Facebook’s population rivals that of India. Give Facebook another year, Mashable recently reported, and the company’s user base will grow to the point that it could be considered the largest country in the world, more populous than China.
A few pessimists worry that Facebook’s current users might grow tired of the site and leave. Yet right now, escaping the earth’s gravitational field seems easier. The result: with Facebook’s market capitalization of $158 billion, and its 1.23 billion active users, simple division tells us each user is being valued at $128.”
Source: You're Worth $128 On Facebook; Sorry About That LinkedIn Drop
“Dutch student Shawn Buckles has tackled the issue head on with his decision to sell his data soul at auction. He received £288 from website The Next Web. He says that the website will use his data to highlight privacy issues at their next conference.
Buckles' data bundle included all sorts of private information - everything from browsing data to email conversations.
A sum like £288 is obviously not to be sniffed at, but can anyone receive such a payoff?
Buckles told us:
I’ve read that a persons’ data goes for under 50 cents at the moment, so I reckon I’ve added lots of value to my data. On the other hand, I’ve sold my most intimate information. I don’t know if there’s any fair amount for that.
Buckles is right: when your data is sold, no one receives that kind of money for it. This is because brands don’t buy individual data, they buy individuals’ data in bundles and that makes it very cheap…
Personal data calculator
The Financial Times published a calculator allowing you to work out what your stats are likely to be worth as part of a bundle, and it’s unlikely to net you early retirement. According to that, $0.083 is the rough cost of my data as one set in a bundle of 1,000.
I ran through various scenarios (pretending I was a rich CEO or a teacher) and it is hard to find a job and lifestyle that is worth more than one dollar. However, some factors do seem to make a big difference, such as a desire to get fit, medical conditions and a family.
Interestingly, a desire to exercise to lose weight makes about the same difference as having a house - roughly 10 cents.
So is it possible for everyone to eschew the bundle and sell personal data as an individual? This allows companies to get far more accurate details, rather than merely ‘inferred’ information.
Some startups have taken moves to re-appropriate saleable user data such as Handshake and Datacoup. These companies offer ways of cutting out the middleman and selling your data straight to third parties.
You won’t make £288 though. Datacoup will only pay you $8 a month and while Handshake allows you to negotiate with brands wanting to buy your data, it is still in beta so it remains to be seen what money there is to be made there.
What about cutting out these middlemen too? Federico Zannier decided to sell his data for $2 a day using Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, and easily surpassed his $500 goal.
He managed to make $2,733 but had to share his keystrokes, mouse movements and even provide a screenshot every 30 seconds.
The high prices paid for Buckles and Zannier’s data were likely partially attributable to the novelty factor.
Even if you think $8 a month is better than nothing, before selling your data it is worth taking a look at exactly what companies can glean from it.
German politician Malte Spitz sued to get all the data his provider had on him and it is quite chilling what it revealed.
It was possible to track the Green party member as he travelled to conferences and see when and where he called people or sent a text.
It may not be your soul you’re selling for $8, but you won’t have much privacy left.”
Source: How much is your personal data worth?
“curious about the historic dollar value of a like. So we collected all the results here and ranked them in descending order:
Blackbaud, NTEN, and Common Knowledge, in their 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, said the average value of a like for non-profits seeking to attract donations, calculated based off total revenue received from a supporter over the 12 months following acquisition, was $214.81.
A study by Syncapse, an enterprise social media marketing management company, quantified fans' and nonfans' product spending, loyalty to a company, propensity to recommend a company, brand affinity, media value, and acquisition cost, according to eContentmag. On average, a Facebook fan is worth $136.38 more than a customer who is a nonfan.
Syncapse's research also found that a single recommendation from these influencers can generate $22.93 in "earned media value" (i.e. publicity) for a brand.
ChompOn, a platform for companies that need a group buying/flash sale platform, analyzed its traffic and found that each like could be worth $8.
Vitrue, another social media marketing management firm, found that a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year, Adweek reported.
Eventbrite analyzed its ticket sales traffic and found a like drives on average $1.34 in ticket sales.
Diamond Candles, a Durham, North Carolina-based company with more than 143,000 Facebook likes, found each engagement on the social network was worth 1 cent, and every “advocacy,” in which someone actually recommended the product, was valued at $1.07.
Ecwid, an e-shopping cart provider and the self-proclaimed "second largest store-building application on Facebook," found that its e-commerce storefronts on Facebook generate 21 cents per like. For the top 10 percent of stores by sales volume, the value of a "Like" increased to $1.20 a pop, soaring to $21.49 in the top one percent of stores.
Forrester, the research group, says each like is actually worth zero. Likes are more akin to "potential energy" in an object that's being held aloft. None of the energy is valorized until something engages the object, which may then fall to earth expending kinetic energy as it goes.”
Source: What Is A Facebook 'Like' Actually Worth In Dollars?
You can even calculate the value of your own data here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/927ca86e-d29b-11e2-88ed-00144feab7de.html#axzz2z2agBB6R