You’re Right, This Is Terribly Stupid About Facebook And Google

We have a complaint here that Facebook and Google are profit seeking firms. Therefore they should never be allowed to do anything. That seems to be the gist of it at least. Because, you know, profit seeking is evil therefore everything should be done by public bureaucracies.

Which is to rather miss the point:

Giving tech giants the power to “solve” social problems would mean granting them an immense stake in almost everything that our society requires in order to function.

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So, Just How Much Is That Data Facebook Steals From You Worth?

My own view around here is that since it is Facebook itself which gives the data value – Facebook best being described as a system to add value to data – the value of our data is zero. But this is an attempt to be a little more specific than that:

Value of data: There’s no such thing as a free lunch in the digital economy
Wendy C.Y. Li, Makoto Nirei, Kazufumi Yamana 23 July 2019

Online platforms that provide services at zero monetary cost benefit greatly from the data these transactions generate.…

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Facebook Makes Profits From Our Data – So, Let’s Steal The Money

The latest proposal from the fertile minds on the left of the American political spectrum is that since Facebook makes money out of us we should go steal that money. Well, what do we expect from people on the left?

There being the occasional problem with the analysis of course:

For a general sense of the value of people’s personal data to these companies, we started with digital advertising revenue. In 2018, Facebook earned an average of roughly $110 in ad revenue per American user.

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The Brexit Party Enjoys 9,900% Surge in Votes And Seats

Euro election results from our data visualisation department.

Not wholly and entirely sure that going from zero to 28 is best described as a 9,900 percent rise in seats but it’s certainly most impressive.

Given that Ukip has failed to win a seat at all then I think we’ve got a certain measure of the manner in which it really was Nigel Farage that dragged it up by its bootstraps. Having worked for the party that isn’t a surprise of course.

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Aren’t Facebook Naughty, The Very Devils They Are

There is a certain whining noise emanating from the right on at present. Facebook are being very naughty boys again. You see, people run apps which collect information. Tsk.

That appears to be what the complaint is as well. That an app which collects information collects information. Where will such nefarity end?

Facebook attacked over app that reveals period dates of its users

Umm, yes? Thought we were out and proud of these things these days.…

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California’s Very Silly Idea Of A Facebook Data Tax And Dividend

That California is where the rest of the United States goes to turn mad is obvious enough but there are still those incidents that bring it into stark relief. Like this little idea that Facebook and the like should be taxed so as to produce a dividend for Californians. The twin problems being that it’s silly and that it’s very silly. The first is that the amount of money simply isn’t relevant to anything at all.…

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Facebook Doesn’t Sell Data – We’ve Now Proof Perfect

A current contention is that Facebook makes its money by selling our precious data – this is not true and now we’ve proof that it is untrue. There’s a certain importance to this as we’re told by the likes of Jaron Lanier that data is the new oil, that our data belongs to us and that people like Google and Facebook should be paying us for our data. Because, you know, they sell it so where’s our cash?…

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Facebook Are Just Rapacious Capitalists – Excellent, How Rich That Makes Us

A claim that Facebook actually isn’t different, that they’re just a bunch of rapacious capitalists out to suck the maximum possible into their own wallets – excellent, how rich that makes us all. For this is the point of the system. People attempt to provide themselves with hot and cold running Ferraris by producing something we value and thus will fork out for. The more value they create for us then the more they get – they get richer precisely because they are making us richer.…

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So, Facebook Doesn’t Sell Data Then

You know the story, data is the new oil, Facebook makes its billions by selling our data. We give that data to Facebook for free, we’re all being ripped off and they should be paying us.

Except, except:

Lawmakers in the U.K. released about 250 pages of internal Facebook Inc. FB -2.24% emails that they said show how executives, including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, gave some third-party developers preferred access to user data and contemplated charging developers for data access.

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From The Annals Of Idiot Facebook Business Ideas – They Should Charge For It

This is concerning Facebook itself of course, not the idiot nephew’s idea of delivering meat flavoured ice cream via the Facebook accounts that dogs don’t have. It’s still a pretty silly idea though, based on a complete misunderstanding of how Facebook currently makes money:

To save itself, Facebook must start charging users

Interesting thought. Worth noting that WhatsApp has just stopped charging people $1 a year to use that app. Wonder why?

So let me wade into this fray and suggest two possible business decisions the social networking giant could make.…

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