This free tool called FDVT (Facebook data assessment tool), was developed by engineers from the UC3M Department of Telematics and is part of the European project TYPES (Towards Transparency and Privacy in the Online Advertising Business; Towards Transparency and Privacy in the Online Advertising Business) of the Horizon program 2020. In addition , the Tool funded in part by the Data Transparency Lab, an initiative sponsored by MIT, Telefonica, and Mozilla that promotes online transparency to educate internet users about the importance of protecting their digital privacy.

The application helps to visualize in real time the advertising revenue generated by a user’s browsing on the social network. To use it, the user only has to download the application and provide some basic information about their identity (age, gender, marital status, interests, location, etc.) so that the tool can recognize the economic value of their profile in the information market advertising, a volatile sector that can fluctuate widely in supply and demand.

«Of course, each of us has a price, so the tool gives you the rating you generate« explain Ángel and Rubén Cuevas, professors at UC3M and developers of this innovation together with José González, a PhD student. “When you connect to Facebook and receive an ad, we receive the rating, the price advertisers pay to show you that ad, and the price those advertisers pay for each ‘click’ you make in one of these ads,” they explain. “The average cost of a user in Spain is half that of a user in the US, but it’s important to understand that this value changes over time,” they add.

Facebook continuously spends money on advertising “even if the Internet user does not even click on the ads within its platform,” they explain. The advertising industry is increasingly “profiling in great detail” its potential customers, to whom it serves personalized advertising based on their personal characteristics to improve their performance, says Ángel Cuevas. “A balance must be struck between this personalization of advertising (which the user can expressly consent to improve their experience) and the guarantee that their fundamental rights are respected,” they continue.

“It is important that companies that manage advertising are transparent about their actions with the data of others,” they emphasize. “We don’t want to demonize Facebook, Google or any other platform to monetize advertising, a sector that undoubtedly generates economic growth and jobs,” they say. What companies with these kinds of tools urgently need to do is be transparent about reporting what they’re doing with third-party data, they add.

If you want to know how it works, watch this video:

company management