More elsewhere

One of the great truisms about our world is that the truly stupid ideas arise from people not understanding how the world works. Such is true of this latest idea that Facebook, and by extension companies like Google and so on, should be paying us for our data.

The contention is that this data is valuable and that’s where the mistake is: it ain’t. Certainly the information extracted from that data is valuable. But as anyone with even an ounce of knowledge of the real world should know, data and information are not the same thing.

9 thoughts on “More elsewhere”

  1. It would certainly reduce the numbers of photos of meals that appear on my timeline if you had to pay to post

  2. Isn’t this rather a case of asymmetrical information?
    I’ve a mate who seems to be incapable of turning off the geolocation sharing function on his phone. He also doesn’t understand how some apps work. I’d imagine he’d value the data on where he often likes to go in the mid 6 figures. If his wife ever found out.

  3. I’m actually happy to share my data… I shop at Amazon and frequent libertarian websites. There’s a market for that.

  4. It’s terrible.

    Society seems to be geared to giving people what they want rather than what a fat man in Ely says they need.

  5. Data can be mined to get the information someone wants.
    Does a major supermarket care what I might buy if I used their store? No. Would they pay for information about what people in the demographic they are looking at buys based on tens of millions of purchases? Quite likely.
    Many years ago the way such data would be collected was surveys, loyalty cards / points cards and sales data from the current stores the company ran. The cards and sales data only gave details of what people in general were buying in that store – not what the store should stock or what there was a demand for.

    Along comes amazon and its model involved opening its sites to other businesses to list what they wanted to sell. Collects tons of information and figures out what to buy based on how well things sell to what customers.
    Other businesses look at the amazon pages and see how popular something is based on the information on the page – and go out and buy the product to sell.

    There’s multiple companies providing data mining service for business on amazon.

  6. Question… Has anyone complained about the data harvested by Nectar cards etc etc and by buying online from Ocado?

    Just imagine the power to be derived on knowing that Polly no longer buys tampons

    It takes a bizarre imagination to get from that kind of utterly banal data to swinging elections through targeted advertising. They advertise my next holiday on the basis of where I have just been. I bought corned beef so I am susceptible to Fascist adverts…. It takes the folks who believe in central control and a command economy to reach those sort of conclusions

  7. Diogenes

    It takes a bizarre imagination to get from that kind of utterly banal data to swinging elections through targeted advertising.

    And yet even Facebook claims – using its algorithms – that it can label people extraordinarily accurately, based on just a relatively small number of “likes” that people click?

    I bought corned beef so I am susceptible to Fascist adverts…


  8. Whatever the pure libertarian angle in respect of Facebook and data, it must be used as a stick to beat and hopefully destroy them with. They do not play fair with us and I am personally sick of losing while feeling smug that I am maintaining my position on the doctrinaire moral high ground. I’ve seen it too often in the real world – sometimes you just have to fight, whether you want to or not, because the enemy isn’t just out to win a game, he’s out to destroy you.
    Play them on their own rules of engagement, smash them, salt their earth and start again.

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