Cash for data

According to a report in the Guardian Facebook is launching a new app which will monetise personal information. The social media giant is asking over 18s to sell it data on how they use competitors’ apps, although so far it hasn’t announced how much it will be willing to pay. It is thought that the move is an attempt from Facebook to be more transparent about how it uses consumers’ data.

In a statement Face book said: “We believe this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook. We also know that this kind of research must be clear about what people are signing up for, how their information will be collected and used, and how to opt out of the research at any time. We are looking to approach marketing research in a responsible way and that what people expect when they sign up to participate in market research has changed.”

The app will be available for download from the Google Play store, but iStore will not be supporting it since Apple has banned the collection of third party data for purposes of analytics or marketing.

This is not the first time Facebook has incentivised its data collection, however, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent anniversary of GDPR it poses interesting questions about privacy and data management. Additionally it will be interesting to see how much value consumers place on their online data. This is particularly relevant since it is likely the next iteration of ePrivacy, which is coming soon, will further restrict the collection and processing of digital data.

It will be very interesting to see how many people sign up for this new initiative and the price tag they place on their privacy. If successful it maybe that in the future increasingly privacy, or lack thereof, will be monetised in this way.