Whenever I log into Facebook and share information with my FB posse, I usually wonder to myself, how much is Facebook making off of my information and insights?
Facebook, MySpace, etc., are all generating income derived from advertisements. Businesses buy ads based on the level of traffic coming to these sites and with over 500 million users that‘s a lot of traffic for Facebook.
Facebook is making money. They make money when I add friends because it means 410 possible sources of traffic. I get “friended” based partially on my profile. My thing is, why can’t I get a piece of that action? Where is my check? I don’t mind giving people access to my information, my content, my property if I can be compensated for it.
Unfortunately, this rational market approach is not even being considered by the privacy police. They would rather institute more privacy laws and regulations rather than recommending that Facebook pay us for appropriating our images and content. Let’s face it. If Americans were concerned about privacy, we wouldn’t be on the Internet much less use social media.
What we should do is implement a market-based mechanism that, through the power of price, would regulate the amount of our information allowed to be provided to third parties. If websites and credit card companies want the information, especially for the purposes of resale, they should buy it. If not, they should be legally liable for its use without permission.
A market based solution to privacy with the courts as arbiter should be explored before pursuing any additional regulations.