Anyone who has been online has had their personal information tracked, stored and sold to data collection companies. With Instagram and other social networks this information is becoming even more specific, meaning that an increasingly accurate digital portrait of you is being created and put up for sale.
You’re not the customer of any of these companies. You’re the product, and you’re being sold to their clients: The advertiser.
With sellfie.co, we are calling attention to this fact. When you see something as personal as your selfie being sold without your permission it’s really alarming. But as these Instagram photos are posted publicly, the appropriation of them is essentially no different than giving your personal data to a collection company.
Placing a price on the artworks is an attempt to raise questions about value when it comes to releasing our data, information and photos publicly. The personal data that we give to companies free of charge is abstract and difficult to attach an actual value to. By framing selfies as artwork, it gives the viewer a relatable commodity, and with it an implied monetary value.