Should you get paid for your data? How much?

In a New York Times opinion piece, Jaron Lanier, a computer programmer and futurist, argues that our data is being robbed from us by social media companies and used for algorithmic advertisements, in what amounts to a “crazy behavioral manipulation scheme.”

His proposed solution is that we should be paid for our data. Services like social media would no longer be free, but individuals would be compensated by commissions on any purchases their data influences.

Why it’s hot: 

As digital advertisers, we have a special window into the power (or powerlessness) of data in influencing behavior. Knowing what you know, what would do you think is worth more: $5,000 or the value of all of the data you have accumulated up to this point?

Facebook’s New Facial Recognition Update + Facial Recognition Blocking Tech

Facebook’s is updating how users can opt in and out of facial recognition. This has been a hot topic online for a few years and Facebook facing a multi million dollar lawsuit about its facial recognition practices is the reason for the change.

Mashable notes “The lawsuit dates back to 2015, but has been slowly progressing — and so far not in Facebook’s favor. The company recently lost an appeal in which it attempted to have the suit dismissed.”

Consumers were allowed to opt in and out of “tagging suggestions” in 2017 but were not told that that came with facial recognition. Facial recognition is being used to target protesters in Hong Kong (and protesters have been attacking facial recognition cameras).

So what do you do in a world where facial recognition is no longer opt-in?


The “phantom” shades reflect light back from infrared cameras but not normal visible light. Fom Mashable: “The frames are specifically designed to defeat 3D dot matrix face-mapping systems, which is basically what makes Apple’s Face ID work. They bounce infrared light back at its source, with the goal of preventing IR video cameras from getting a good image of your face — or potentially even registering your face as a face at all.”

Why It’s Hot?

We are living in a facial recognition world and you are automatically opted into being a facial recognition girl… We’re seeing how facial recognition can be used maliciously in other countries and we are, as a matter of course of being online and on the streets, opted into a system that we did not agree to. The glasses tech is cool but does not speak to the greater issue of what is going on around us and how AI technology might affect us in the coming years.

the foul stench of possible identity theft…

Smell of Data from Leanne Wijnsma on Vimeo.

Some obviously creative innovators have recently created the “Smell of Data” to alert you instantly when your personal information is at risk of being compromised while adventuring around the internet.

Per these geniuses –

“Smell of Data aims to give internet users moment-to-moment updates on whether their private information is at risk of being leaked…The Smell of Data is a new scent developed as an alert mechanism for a more instinctive data…Smell data? Beware of data leaks. They can lead to privacy violation, behavior control, and identity theft.”

“To utilize the Smell of Data, a scent dispenser is charged with the specially developed fragrance, and then connected to a smartphone, tablet, or computer via Wi-Fi. The device is able to detect when a paired system attempts to access an unprotected website on an unsecured network and will emit a pungent puff of the Smell of Data as a warning signal.”

Why It’s Pungent Hot:

It’s seemingly an interesting play on an old method of playing on peoples’ senses in order to condition behavior. While it’s obviously a bit silly, the point is – very often we’re not thinking how what we do digitally could lead to trouble later. Now there’s a Pavlovian way to get us to stop and think.