Social media platforms like Facebook mine users’ personal data and make billions of dollars each year from the companies that purchase it. Most social media users do not know how their data is being collected or sold, let alone its value in today’s economy.
No one would let Facebook mine oil in their backyard in exchange for using the platform for free, because everyone knows the value of oil, but very few people know that consumer data is currently more valuable than oil. Facebook and Google alone are worth $1.3 trillion, versus the combined value of the top five non-Chinese oil companies at $1.1 trillion.
Consumer data is among the most valuable resources on the planet, since it provides marketers with the insights they need to target their advertisements. However, consumers who provide these insights do not get a share of the profits. This is thanks to a major lack of transparency on the part of companies that gather and sell personal data, with regard to both the value of said data and the way it’s collected, used, and sold.
Moreover, since privacy laws in Canada typically go unenforced, companies often skirt privacy regulations with impunity.
Ethical, consent-based tool that shares revenue with its users
MiDATA is a data management tool within a social platform called MUUVER, which uses “supertags” — hashtags with added pluses and minuses to indicate one’s sentiment — to track and aggregate the opinions of its users from most social platforms.
MiDATA is a consent- and privacy-focused tool that allows users to self-curate their data with 100% transparency, all while getting paid to provide insights and engage with brands.
“We think that the only ethical approach for a platform in which people give up their personal data is to give them full control over it, and whenever we make money with it, we split the earnings with the user,” says Paul Marek, founder and CEO of MUUVER Inc. “Right now, marketing companies are paying Facebook for your time and attention — why not pay you for your time and attention?”
A New Era of Ethical Data Collection
Data mining is among today’s most contentious issues, with many social media users becoming increasingly concerned about the way social platforms collect and share their data. Facebook user statistics are dropping off — a study by Edison Research indicates that in 2018 Facebook had15 million few users in the US than in 2017.
Paul Marek, founder and CEO of MUUVER/MiDATA thinks it’s time for an ethical approach to data collection.
“Right now, people allow companies to come into their living room and mine data off their devices, and they’re allowing it because they’re not well-informed — there’s no transparency,” says Marek. “We want to protect your data and give you a share of the revenues it generates.”
MiDATA gives users complete control of their data — and pays them for it
MUUVER/MiDATA works much like any other social platform, except that users have complete control over their data with the ability to curate their data profile and provide their consent preferences.
Users only see ads they consent to viewing, and get paid for the marketing insights they provide — the platform splits revenues with its users. Unlike other tools that pay users for their personal data, MiDATA has a unique, privacy-based approach.
“Other companies create a file of your data and sell it to marketers. We think that’s wrong too because it negates your privacy,” says Marek. “Instead, marketers come to us to do their analytics, and they never get a copy of a user profile. We believe that no one should see that data — not even us.”
Self-curated profiles benefit users and marketers
Marek believes that allowing users to curate their data is not only a more ethical approach — it also benefits marketers.
“A self-curated data profile is probably the most accurate and valuable consumer data set in the world, because it’s not inferred, which is what you get with the surveillance done by everybody else,” he says. “That’s why you see ads that seem to follow you.”