Review: Digi.Me + UBDI

ubdi and logos

Good idea. Terrible execution.

UBDI stands for Universal Basic Data Income, a word play on UBI. I heard about it in a TED talk from Jennifer Scott on “Why you should get paid for your data”. The concept was interesting:

You give your data for free to all these companies, which then profit by selling your data to advertisers and so on. What if we cut the middleman? Why can’t you, willingly, sell your data (possibly anonymised) to market researchers?

I’m always up for new ways to achive passive income, so I thought it was worth the try.

How it works

I went to their UBDI’s homepage, with a captivating design, and learned how the service worked:

  1. Collect all your online data with Digi.Me
  2. Import your Digi.Me profile to UBDI
  3. Profit

Sounded simple enought. I also found out there’s nothing else to do on their website, as you have to download a mobile app to continue. My excitement went immediately down, this was going to take a while…

Collecting data with

I installed the app on Android and connected Twitter. It went smoothly and my tweets appeared in my Digi.Me profile. It also showed some statistics, like most used emojis and so on. profile

I continued with the rest of my accounts (Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Flickr). And nothing. No data points whatsoever. I tried importing again, nothing. The app said the connection was active and there was no new data to pull. #fail

Things were not looking great, because my “comprehensive digital profile” was just a collection of tweets…

Selling data with UDBI

I crossed my fingers and imported my Digi.Me profile to UBDI.

ubdi profile

Then I answered around 50 questions (demographics, interests, etc.)

Then it was time to look for studies and start selling data! And the app didn’t find any studies. Why? Because my digital profile was only made of tweets? Because my country is not targetted by any studies? Because the app is broken? Who knows… #fail

You get… NOTHING!

What a waste of time and patience.

Both apps seem useless to me, one because it can’t collect data and the other because it can’t do anything useful with that data. It sounded promising but in my case it was a complete waste of time.

td;dr Don’t even bother.