Commodify Us: Our Data Our Terms.
Article by Marc Garrett.
Includes interview with Walter Langelaar
Richard Stallman, the outspoken promoter for the Free Software movement proposes that we should all leave Facebook and either find or build our own alternatives. Commodify.Us provides a platform for users to regain control over the commercial exploitation of their personal data. Marc Garret discusses the importance of such alternative hacktivist structures for social independence.
Commodify Inc. is an artist-run Internet startup producing projects to help individuals capitalize on their online monetary potential. Their intention is to correct the imbalance of power in markets where users have no control over the transactions made with their personal data. They have completed various artistic projects and interventions on social media like, Fame Game, Give Me My Data, and Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. The co-founders are Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Owen Mundy, Tim Schwartz, with additional contributors Joelle Dietrick and Steven Alvarado.
Their new project Commodify.Us, was initiated when Owen Mundy and Tim Schwartz were invited by moddr_ to a residency in their lab in the summer of 2012 - when they were still a part of the WORM collective in Rotterdam. They worked on an initial idea that would succeed previous experiences of their already well-known and respected projects.