Chris Downs, Managing Director of, collected his on and offline data in 2000 and sold it on eBay.

What happens when you sell your personal data on eBay: a first-hand account from a data enthusiast

My experiment

What that actually meant in practice

My bank data, hand written

Why did I embark on this experiment?

The data I collected, all in one stack
  • Data is being created constantly — every time we interact to with technology, from using public transport to making a transaction. And that trend is only set to continue.
  • Inferences are made from our data, which in turn drive decisions made on our behalf. Our data can inform and improve our own decisions too.
  • Our data has value — especially to us.
  • People are starting to realise that we too can participate in the creation and use of our data. We don’t have to wait for an invitation.

What was in the data I collected?

My supermarket loyalty card data
  • We have a right to a full and complete copy of our data collected and held by companies and to exercise this right all we have to do is write a ‘subject access request’ letter.
  • Organizations who hold databases with our personal data in them, must keep these databases separate.

What did I learn from my experiment?

The fear we face around our personal data is really a fear of the unknown.

It should be easy for people to be curators of their own data.

Data is not oil. It is a unique material that requires a unique approach to solving its problems and uncovering its opportunities.



Facebook’s program designed to empower independent startups in France, with expertise, mentoring and dedicated working space within Station F, the world’s largest start-up campus.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Startup Garage at Station F

Facebook’s program to innovate with startups in France | Program Manager: CarolineMatte