Commit 2238a682 authored by Aral Balkan's avatar Aral Balkan
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LifeBuzz copy should be complete now.

parent 038c2e7f
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## Is this the worst site on the web?
**The 172 trackers on just one site cost Americans over $3M a month in data and over $600,000 in energy.**
**LifeBuzz’s 172 trackers costs Americans over $4M a month in mobile data charges.**
The web might be a sewer of surveillance but some sites take things to altogether new and absurd levels.
The web is a sewer but some sites take things to altogether new and absurd levels. In our study of the top 5,000 web sites according to Alexa, LifeBuzz topped our list with 172 unique third-party trackers.
While we were studying the top five thousand web sites according to Alexa, LifeBuzz.com came out on top with 172 unique third-party trackers. So by visiting this one site, you’re being exposed to tracking by 172 third-party entities that you neither know or care about. It’s only fitting that they get our first ever Cloud of Shame Award.
Each time someone loads LifeBuzz, those 172 trackers [waste 2.58MB of data and a little over 2 minutes of loading time](#after-better) on your device.
As we trawl the depths of the web, we fear that we’ll find other, even worse sites to feature here in the future. If you know of any that you’d like to recommend for the Cloud of Shame Award, [let us know](https://forum.ind.ie/c/better)
Those numbers are shocking in and of themselves, however, what’s really staggering is when we take into consideration that LifeBuzz gets over 250,000,000 page views a month [(1)](#references). It means that every month, **LifeBuzz wastes approximately 645 terabytes of your data and over 1,000 years of time a month just to load its trackers** [(8, 9)](#references).
It gets worse: given the percentage of LifeBuzz’s traffic that’s from the US [(5)](#references) and the percentage of traffic in the US that’s from mobile phones [(3)](#references), we can calculate – conservatively – that **LifeBuzz wastes over 314 terabytes of mobile data in the US alone every month** [(11)](#references). Given that the average cost of 1GB of data in the US is $13.01 [(2)](#references), **LifeBuzz costs Americans over $4,000,000 in mobile data costs alone every month** [(12)](#references).
All that extra loading time also translates to wasted energy. Again, to be as conservative as we can be in our estimates, let’s assume that every one of LifeBuzz’s mobile users has the most energy efficient phone possible and gets close to 31 hours of web browsing on one charge [(6)](#references). Even then, it would mean that **over 240,000 extra charges of mobile phones a month can be attributed to the energy wasted by the trackers on this one site** [(10)](#references). To further put this into perspective, the amount of energy wasted per month for all these additional charges is more than the amount of energy the average household in Brazil uses in a year [(7, 13, & 14)](#references).
Again, don’t forget that this is just one site – albeit, quite possibly, the worst site on the web.
Consider now that the web today *runs* on behavioural advertising and tracking. Think of the millions upon millions of sites that take part in this business model. Consider the mind-boggling amount of time, energy and resources wasted. To say nothing about the *qualitative impact* that this mass erosion of privacy has on our societies and on democracy.
So the next time you hear the behavioural advertising industry playing the victim and whining about how *their rights* are being trampled on by malware and tracking blockers like Better, consider who the real victim here is: the multi-billion-dollar monopolies that are carrying out mass surveillance on the world’s population for financial gain or the individuals who are trying to protect themselves from it.
And, if you are a policymaker – here are the numbers you need and the arguments you need to do your job and regulate this toxic industry. You have no excuse not to. We cannot tie the future digital infrastructure of our lives to the toxic business model of tracking, analysing, and monetising people. [Ethical alternatives are possible](https://ind.ie/ethical-design) and it is up to you to support them while regulating the abuses of the current mainstream.
While LifeBuzz wins our first Cloud of Shame Award, we fear that it won’t be the last. If you know of any sites that are worthy of the honour, [please let us know](https://forum.ind.ie/c/better)
## Ethical design violations
......@@ -234,29 +248,26 @@ Some explanation of the block rule.
## Notes
Please note that this page is under active development. The notes above will be combined into a coherent narrative prior to launch.
* If every visitor used Better, it would save just over 570 years of time spent loading third-party trackers and 570 terabytes of data per month on LifeBuzz.com alone.
* In page load time, we save ~8 seconds per load. This adds up to almost 66 years additionally that people actually spend waiting for pages to load. That’s almost one lifetime (4).
* The 570 years of loading time saved translates to over 160,000 full-battery depletions on the most energy efficient phone we could find statistics for (Gionee Marathon M5) (see 11). If, on the other hand, everyone was on an iPhone, we would be saving over 350,000 full battery depletions. Based on the statistics from OPower, if everyone was on an iPhone 6 (again, we’re being conservative here, as they “require a trivial amount of electricity”), this would save over $600,000 a month in extra energy costs (13) (Note: We should recalculate this using 82% statistic so that it applies just to the mobile traffic on the site so that we’re even more conservative in our analysis.)
* Better would save people who visit LifeBuzz.com in the US on their mobile phones over $3 million each month in data costs (7, 8).
* These are the costs of the attention economy. These are the costs of surveillance capitalism. These are the cost of behavioural advertising. Human lifetimes lost. Millions of dollars wasted. Every month. And these are just the numbers for *one site*.
* We could not find a privacy policy on LifeBuzz.com. (If there is one, it is not accessible from its main page or navigation.)
* [LifeBuzz Media Privacy Policy](http://www.lifebuzz.com/privacy/)
## References
1. LifeBuzz.com gets “over 250,000,000 page views a month” [Source](http://www.lifebuzzmedia.com)
2. The average price of 1GB of mobile data in the US is $13.01 (2013) [Forbes](http://www.forbes.com/sites/tristanlouis/2013/09/22/the-real-price-of-wireless-data/#1fc4c421354e)
3. 56% of traffic in the US is from mobile (2015) [SimilarWeb via MarketingLand](http://marketingland.com/mobile-top-sites-165725)
4. The average life expectancy at birth is 71 years globally (2013) [World Health Organisation](http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_burden_disease/life_tables/situation_trends/en/)
5. 82% of their traffic is from mobile [LifeBuzz](http://www.lifebuzzmedia.com)
6. 87% of their traffic is from the US [LifeBuzz](http://www.lifebuzzmedia.com)
7. 570,000GB × 0.87 × 0.56 × $13.01 = $3,612,929.04 (Based on SimilarWeb’s US mobile statistics)
8. 570,000GB × 0.87 × 0.82 × $13.01 = $5,290,360.38 (Based on LifeBuzz’s own mobile statistics. It is not known if the 82% mobile traffic stastic applies equally to their US traffic, so we should, at best, take this as a theoretical maximum). We’ll go with (7) as a conservative estimate.
9. Gionee Marathon M5, most energy efficient phone in the [GSM Arena Battery Test](http://www.gsmarena.com/battery-test.php3)
10. Another set of battery life benchmarks [iClarified](http://www.iclarified.com/44096/preliminary-iphone-6-benchmarks-browser-gpu-web-browsing-battery-life-charts)
11. 4.99662E+06/30.88 = 161,807.64249 full battery depletions
12.[G]iving a full charge to an iPhone 6 uses about 10.5 watt-hours of electricity.” The “average US retail price of [electricity is] 12.29 cents per kilowatt-hour” [Opower](https://blog.opower.com/2014/09/iphone-6-charging-47-cents/)
13. 4.99662E+06 hours * 10.5 watt-hours * 12.29 cents per watt-hour (see 12)
4. 82% of LifeBuzz’s traffic is from mobile [LifeBuzz](http://www.lifebuzzmedia.com)
5. 87% of LifeBuzz’s traffic is from the US [LifeBuzz](http://www.lifebuzzmedia.com)
6. The Gionee Marathon M5 is the most energy efficient phone in the [GSM Arena Battery Test](http://www.gsmarena.com/battery-test.php3). It gets 30:51 hours of web browsing on a single charge (= 1,851 minutes)
7.[G]iving a full charge to an iPhone 6 uses about 10.5 watt-hours of electricity.” [Opower](https://blog.opower.com/2014/09/iphone-6-charging-47-cents/)
8. 250,000,000 page-views/month × 2.58 MB wasted = 645,000 GB wasted/month
9. 250,000,000 page-views/month × 2.17 minutes = 542,500,000 minutes wasted/month = 1,031.45 years
10. 542,500,000 minutes wasted/month (see 9) × 0.82 (see 4) ÷ 1,851 minutes (see 6) = 240,329.55159 extra mobile phone battery charges/month
11. 645,000 GB wasted/month (see 8) × 0.87 * 0.56 = 314,244 GB of US mobile data wasted/month
12. 314,244 GB of US mobile data wasted/month (see 11) × $13.01 (see 2) = $4,088,314.44 wasted in data costs/month
13. 240,329.55159 extra mobile phone battery charges/month × 10.5 watt-hours (see 7) = 2,523,460.2917 watt-hours of energy wasted = 2,523.4602917 Kw/h
14. Household electricity consumption (kWh/year) – Brazil: 1,834, Russia: 2,419, Italy: 2,777. [Source](http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption)
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