Public extraction

24.08.2016 Google : Urbanism : Personal Data
The Google Urbanism project argues that localised advertising is a form of mining the attention economy and the generated profits should be shared with users.

Moscow – Google Urbanism proposes the state benefits from the technology company’s mining of the attention economy.

  • The speculative project says money generated by the megasystem could fund better provision of public space
  • Google would benefit by being able to tailor its adverts more accurately to a user’s location

The founders believe that the data people generate is the chief resource in today’s attention economy. If the mining of that data happens in a public space, then companies should require a licence for the extraction.

‘If Google is making money from our presence in a public space, the city should get a piece of the pie,’ said co-creator Nicolay Boyadjiev at a recent Moscow Urban Forum event.

The system would let governments and cities recoup some of the advertising revenue that technology companies make from users accessing their services in public space. It does this by creating a digital licence that integrates with Google maps.

The money generated would be used to partially fund the space in which the value was created. An advert for the initiative therefore rebrands people glued to their phones in public as The New Civic Heroes.

The Big Picture

Consumers are becoming hyper-aware of how valuable their personal data is, and are looking for a value exchange. For more, see our Insight Behaviour on WRC 2016: New Mindsets.

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