Should you be paid for the information on your Facebook profile?


In today’s online world everyone knows everything about you. Companies seem to know you better, than you know yourself. And for some reason all online platforms are allowed to track you all day, everywhere you go on the World Wide Web. This is the “dark side” of using free online social media platforms. But, what do those online platforms earn per profile, and shouldn’t the users that provide the companies with their profiles and information compensat their users

According to statistics from eMarketer, Facebook will earn $6.82 billion on digital display ad revenues that is just over one quarter of the total market. In the coming years this market share will continue to increase, reaching 26.9% by 2017. We are making Facebook more profitable each year, by providing them with the ideal platform for targeted marketing though our personal profiles.

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The average Facebook user generated $12.76 in advertising this year, which will increase to $17.50 by 2017.  However, your value to social networks depends heavily on your location. An US user will add a total of $48.76 per profile to Facebook, whereas a European user will only add $7.71 value per profile.

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Why will Facebook’s market share increase over the coming two years? Due to a growing marketplace for online advertisements on the demand-side and social media platforms finding out more ways to show ads to its’ users on the supply side. As social media users tend to provide the platforms with more and more information on their profiles, the ad spaces become more valuable. On the other hand, ad-revenue based companies develop new and innovative styles of adverts, increasing the willingness to pay from companies wanting to advertise through social media on such platforms.

Musician and Internet theorist Jaron Lanier told Channel 4 “for every piece of data we hand over to “spy agencies”, we should be compensated. The reason that monetizing information is crucial, it’s the only path that creates moderation. People talk about rights and regulation. My concern is that those things can never keep up with computer programmers. Programmers move faster than the law. But monetizing will do it.”

In my opinion we will not be able to stop ad-revenue based companies from gaining information about their users. As Jaron Lanier argued, programmers will always move faster than the law. It is impossible to stop the constant innovation in ad-revenue based products that social media platforms use to attract firms in using their platform for marketing purposes. In the future, I believe, such social media platforms will be the leading platforms for advertising purposes. Traditional ad purposes will be derived from the market, making it possible for the “big spy agencies” to gain a lot of power. With constant innovation, nor monetizing, nor law, will create a stop to your increasing “online worth” and the use of your personal information.

What do you think? Should we be compensated for the personal information we provide to “big spy agencies”, which they in turn use to generate billions of dollars in revenue?

Do you want to know your worth on the Internet? AVG has created the application PrivacyFix, an app that provides you with the information on how much you are worth to “big-time data players” such as Facebook and Google. For Facebook, the app uses publically available shareholder information to determine how much each user in that country is worth to the company. Furthermore, the app gives you insight on how is tracking you online.

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Download the app via: http://privacyfix.com/start/install

Author: Milou Saraber

References:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/25/facebook-money-advertising-revenue-should-you-be-paid

http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Facebook-Twitter-Will-Take-33-Share-of-US-Digital-Display-Market-by-2017/1012274

http://www.bgr.in/news/facebook-earns-13-of-total-ad-revenues-through-user-profiles-study/

http://www.businessinsider.com/privacyfix-worth-facebook-google-tracking-2014-5?IR=T

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/social/How-much-is-your-Facebook-account-worth/articleshow/49090775.cms

http://uk.businessinsider.com/everything-facebook-knows-about-you-2014-12?r=US&IR=T

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3 responses to “Should you be paid for the information on your Facebook profile?”

  1. 345167rv says :

    Hi 366867ms,
    First of all I would like to say that I like the topic you wrote about. I would like to respond to your question about whether or not we should be compensated for the personal information we provide on Facebook.
    In my opinion people who use Facebook should not be compensated. The main reason why people use Facebook is the desire to keep in touch with friends (Konnikova, 2014). Facebook has provided a platform to maintain these bonds with others and the ‘payment’ to use the platform is data. However, a user can still choose which and how much data he or she provides. In order to get something, you have to share something.
    For me it is comparable with the AH bonuscard. You can have an anonymous card, or you can get more discount and better personal offers by making your bonuscard personal. The “payment” to get this is personal data.

  2. 345167rv says :

    Hi 366867ms,
    First of all I would like to say that I like the topic you wrote about. I would like to respond to your question about whether or not we should be compensated for the personal information we provide on Facebook.
    In my opinion people who use Facebook should not be compensated. The main reason why people use Facebook is the desire to keep in touch with friends (Konnikova, 2014). Facebook has provided a platform to maintain these bonds with others and the ‘payment’ to use the platform is data. However, a user can still choose which and how much data he or she provides. In order to get something, you have to share something.
    For me it is comparable with the AH bonuscard. You can have an anonymous card, or you can get more discount and better personal offers by making your bonuscard personal. The “payment” to get this is personal data.

  3. 356767nj says :

    I agree with the fact that social media platform users will not be able to stop companies from tracking all information on their profiles and their Internet usage. Even though this huge privacy issue has been rising questions among governments whether or not to make restrictions on the usage of customer data in order to gain revenue.

    However, I agree with 345167rv that we should answer the question from a user perspective. The main reason why Facebook is able to track everyone’s demographical data lies within the network effects Facebook has. These network effects that make them unstoppable and unbeatable (Business Insider). So why do people use Facebook? According to Nadkarni and Hofmann there are two different needs people have when using Facebook: the need to belong and the need for self-presentation. There is no third need to earn money from the information the user provides to Facebook. According to this study users want to interact with their friends, insinuating that the users do not think about the consequences when they provide Facebook with personal data.

    Before the huge fuzz of rising privacy issues in 2012, users didn’t even know and think about the ad-based revenue model Facebook uses to gain value. After the fuzz of 2012 more and more people started raising questions about privacy concerns when using social media. However, these privacy concerns haven’t stopped users from deleting their Facebook profile. Users will remain using Facebook for reason of social benefits, not because the user wants to earn money.

    In conclusion, I think that users shouldn’t be paid for the information they provide Facebook. If they don’t want their information to be public, people should stop using Facebook instead of complaining about their privacy concerns. Stoppage of many users will ultimately mean that they won’t be tracked, and in return Facebook will not gain revenue from that information.

    Sources:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/network-effects-2011-5?IR=T
    http://readwrite.com/2012/01/16/study_why_do_people_use_facebook
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/oct/15/facebook-users-privacy-concerns-security

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