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Social data production—accumulating, processing, and using large volumes of data about people—is a unique form of value creation that characterizes the digital economy. Social data production also presents critical challenges for the legal regimes that encounter it. This Article provides scholars and policymakers with the tools to comprehend this new form of value creation through two descriptive contributions. First, it presents a theoretical account of social data, a mode of production that is cultivated and exploited for two distinct (albeit related) forms of value: prediction value and exchange value. Second, it creates and defends a taxonomy of three “scripts” that companies follow to build up and leverage prediction value and explains their normative and legal ramifications.


Copyright © 2024 Columbia Law Review. All rights reserved. Originally published as Viljoen, Salome and Amanda Parsons. "Valuing Social Data." Columbia Law Review 124 no. 4 (2024): 993–1080.