From quantification to commodification of “the self”
The need to measure everything we do, as a form of self-knowledge, has a long history, but what was once viewed as an extreme obsession is now an everyday practice and a growing economic sector.
The promise of the Quantified Self movement is that registering each of our acts is the best way of understanding their consequences and achieving any goal. This is one of the many industries that, through data, have started to commodify our privacy.
Today we are not just data consumers. Online social platforms build up an extremely detailed profile of our preferences, turning us into a product. Our data is the merchandise that data brokers buy and sell, and an essential component in the economic model of the the Internet. This systematic gathering of data on our personal lives is one of the factors that make possible the mass surveillance state revealed by Edward Snowden leaks.