In 2014 Facebook released the most powerful targeting tool ever – Detailed targeting, with intelligence that makes even Orwell’s 1984 seems like a fairytale. It segments people by ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, social status, the car they drive, and even the food they eat. How does Facebook know all of this?
The way Facebook files its users is done through algorithms that calculate, for example, your sexual orientation by assessing the interactions you have with other users on Facebook. Your ethnicity instead is guessed by the combination of your given name and last name: if your name is Hans Mueller, you are certainly a white man. Well, at least for Facebook. The neighborhood you live in provides relevant information on your social status. This and much more adds up to increasingly accurate profiles Facebook then sells to advertisers.
If this is not scary enough, Facebook has also developed the most efficient face-recognition software known today: the DeepFace. At the moment the social media in question has over 1.5 billion users that have uploaded more than 250 billion photos and it's actually capable of identifying any person depicted in a given image with 97% accuracy. When considering these two facts it is reasonable to speculate that our face will soon become an important variable in “target advertising”. So the question is: how much is your face worth?
In a dystopian scenario that explores the value of humans to advertisers purely based on data taken from their Facebook profiles, How Much Is Your Face Worth?, a new project by Slovenian designer Emil Kozole, investigates connections between personal data, facial characteristics and online targeting and questions the rise of new marketing tools that are one step ahead of personalized advertising and are becoming embedded into our lives. The exhibition will feature over two thousand profiles distributed by what Facebook knows and speculates about them with the potential value that they represent.

© Emil Kozole
Ljubljana, SI