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Why Facebook should pay its users for their information

Published: Thursday, Oct. 18 2012 1:03 p.m. MDT

Though Facebook users disclose pretty much any personal information an advertiser could ever want, the company can’t profit from it.

Paul Sakuma, AP

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Though Facebook users disclose pretty much any personal information an advertiser could ever want, the company can’t profit from it, according to CNN.

A couple of NYU professors are proposing a new strategy to pay users for the right to sell their information to advertisers.

While the idea seems a little absurd, it could help Facebook become the world’s leading market research company. Advertisers would have targeted access to clients who are actually interested in their products, and users would get paid to see advertisements they would want to buy.

"This way, Facebook's intent becomes clear," Vasant Dhar, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, told CNN. "If users aren't making a conscious choice about what happens with their data, they end up feeling violated."

The concept of buying user data is an old concept that hasn’t happened before because consumers are so willing to change companies. Facebook users see few to no alternatives to the social networking site.

"Facebook's current ad model is at odds with its mission," Arun Sundararajan, another professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, told CNN. "People are unhappy about it."

Sundarajan feels that the majority of Facebook advertisements aren’t effective.

Giving users control over their data with an incentive to do so would not only generate revenue but it would build more trust among its users, according to CNN.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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