Data and information privacy have become some of the most focal points of discussion in today’s digital age. After all, we have become part of a society that values the protection of data and at the same time freedom of information. When businesses tap into this for profit, it’s within our rights to be concerned. One guy takes this to the next level, though, as it appears he’s just sold his Facebook data on eBay.
It’s important to remember that Facebook and Google are perhaps two of the biggest influencers in terms of the digital market space, especially given how they’ve offered a platform for individuals and businesses alike to conduct a lot of their affairs in them. A whopping 75-percent of the United States advertising market is owned by these two companies, and this is especially more so because of the kind of data they hold on their users. On the offset of the infamous Cambridge Analytica Scandal, however, perhaps it’s time for the digital masses to start rethinking their position about how much data they share. After all, the scandal did reveal the “misuse” of the data of as much as 87-million Americans.
Oli Frost from London is just one – perhaps the spark to ignite the flame – of perhaps some individuals thinking about the value their personal data holds. This might be why he’s put all of his data on Facebook for sale on eBay. He said the GDPR always said his data was “important” and “valuable,” so Frost wanted to take the notion literally. After all, he said, he’s been “selling my data for free.” He added it was finally time to “cash in.”
His initial eBay listing had started at 99 cents, and was open for bidding. He acquired his data using Facebook’s tool that allows users to download a record of their activity. Frost said his data contains everything he’s done with the platform since he was 16, including all private information he has.
For those familiar with the name Oli Frost, however, perhaps the 26-year-old is no stranger to some netizens. This is the same Oli Frost who decided to create the app called Lifefaker, which is designed to make all aspects of its users’ life appear “perfect” on their social media accounts. He also started Flopstarter, which is a platform to crowdfund bad ideas, which is obviously a hit on Kickstarter, the popular crowdsourcing platform.
He added he’s not worried that the data he’s presenting will be misused by the top bidder, as the listing denies the highest bidder “permission to steal my identity.” Although he did mention he hasn’t thought of anyone using the data to blackmail him.
As of writing, Frost’s data had reached 43 bidders, with the highest being $385 so far. Frost intends to use the money he will get from sale to donate to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is ironically a popular non-profit organization with a main advocacy towards internet privacy and digital rights.
Frost said that despite the potential for a high bid, he’s got no guarantee that the highest bidder will be obtaining a “good deal” out of the situation. Frost himself admitted he’s got no idea how much his data should be worth.
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