Facebook's digital bootlegging might kick off a personal data boom

Chris Dannen

By Chris Dannen


The market for personal data is fragmented and illiquid, but Facebook has inadvertantly helped provide some pricing signal. In exchange for paying teenage users about $240 a year, Facebook got access to absolutely all the data on users' phones, plus some that required self-reporting. As we reported on January 21, darknet markets are seeing individual personal records selling for as little as 10 cents per document. With legitimate and illegitimate data vendors now in play, a price spread is taking shape.

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them
"Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android 'Facebook Research' app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as 'Project Atlas' — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe."

Other News

Iran issues Regulations on Crypto, thus lifting the ban
"The Central Bank of Iran published a ‘Version 0.0’ of its regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies on their website. It states that the ban has been lifted but restrictions have been imposed on its use in the country. The framework was aimed to organize and define boundaries of ongoing crypto operations in the country and allowing traders to plan for their future."

The reports of bitcoin environmental damage are garbage
"Crypto’s carbon footprint is extremely moderate for being the world’s largest computer network. Its energy efficiency gets better every day. It isn’t perfect, but its goals are noble: greater wealth equality for all, the reduced impact of a deceitful banking system, and an opportunity for financial inclusion for the poorest amongst us. It doesn’t displace other users of renewable resources; it mainly draws from unutilized hydro capacity and it contributes to local communities. At its heart it is honest money and a force for good in the world. To those of you in the community, hold your head high when questioned about crypto’s environmental impact. Your work is important. There is no reason not to be proud of the system that Satoshi created."

The Blockchain Scalability Problem & the Race for Visa-Like Transaction Speed
"In a nutshell, the Lightning Network lets you take your Bitcoins off the blockchain and transact with another party privately. For example, I might plan to have coffee every morning for the next month. I want to transact in Bitcoin, but I don’t want to stand in front of the coffee line waiting for my block confirmations like a dweeb who doesn’t know what Lightning Network is."

Reaching Everyone, Pt. II: Resilience, Censorship-Resistance and the Bitcoin Blockchain
"Bitcoin’s key characteristics — scarcity, decentralisation, immutability, censorship-resistance and permissionlessness — are a result of careful design and development over the past decade and represent some of the most significant achievements in computer science and engineering to date. That being said, much work remains to be done in order to realise the ultimate potential of cryptocurrency as an impenetrable guerilla financial armoury empowering the dispossessed peoples of Earth against authoritarianism and oppression."

Should everybody just work on Bitcoin?
"Applying replacement costs to cryptocurrencies yields clear guidance if we prioritize growth of the overall ecosystem: we should invest more in projects that are expensive to replace and getting more expensive to replace. The problem, of course, is that individual and group incentives often run counter to the growth of the overall ecosystem."

A Conflict of Crypto Visions
"As we’ve highlighted, these divisions between cryptocurrency enthusiasts, investors, and builders can be seen across the 'unconstrained' and 'constrained' axes, two conflicting ideologies that transcend geography, professional associations, or backgrounds. We believe that the most likely outcome after the full possible actualizations of these visions is convergence in some form. While the future remains uncertain, a conflict of visions persists because in reality, visions are all we have to focus on ahead of a multi-decade roadmap of adoption and integration."

Powell Dominated

Decentralized Storage Comparison

Decentralised storage comparison from r/CryptoCurrency

2nd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study
"The second edition of the Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study provides new insights into the current state of the cryptoasset industry. The study gathers survey data from more than 180 cryptoasset companies and individuals, covering 47 countries across five world regions. The empirical analysis specifically focuses on the following four key industry segments: mining, exchange, storage, and payments."

Fidelity Is Said to Plan March Launch of Bitcoin Custody Service
"Fidelity Investments is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, as the mutual-fund giant moves forward with a plan that could help ease fears of trading cryptocurrencies."