The recentopened many Facebook users' eyes to the fact that their personal data may be viewed as a product -- and a valuable one.
But Oli Frost of London believes that if anyone should be making money off his information, it should be him.
Included in Frost's data bundle: Everything from "all my friend requests that got ignored" to more serious items, such as "who I vote for, my boss' name, and where all my family live."
"Everyone else's making money off it, so why shouldn't I?" Frost wrote on the listing.
On Tuesday, there were 44 bids, and the price had gone from 99 pence ($1.33, AU$1.77) to £300 ($397, AU$530). But then eBay took Frost's auction down (here's a cached link).
The email he received from eBay called him out for "selling an account for Facebook, which is not permitted as most social networking companies have limitations in their terms of service that restrict the artificial boosting of another member's following or popularity, or the sale of accounts with established followings."
Frost, who's 26 and works in communications, wasn't actually selling a live Facebook account, just the downloaded data the social media site had collected on him. But eBay UK does have a policy against selling "any items associated with social networking accounts that result in or encourage spam or the exchange of personal information."
eBay UK and Facebook declined to comment.
As for the data, it's still for sale.
"I'm now taking private offers on my site until I find another place to sell it," Frost told me. He says he plans to donate the money received to San Francisco-based digital-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Frost's site humorously explains what the highest bidder will receive. In addition to the ignored friend requests and data on his voting record, boss, and family addresses, the winning bidder can peruse "every party invite I've ever had (all three of them)." The data also includes "a list of things I'm apparently interested in, including 'gluten-free diet', '(British singer) Jessie Ware' and 'project management software.'"
When asked how his family felt about their information being included in the sale, Frost replied, "(I) asked mum and dad and they're all cool with telling people where they live. I live with them anyway."
What's not included? "Permission to steal my identity and open a sweat shop."
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