If you look at the press and the discussions on the web a lot of people complain about the use of their data by service providers. Personally, I am convinced that certain companies stretch their interpretation of privacy further than they should because they can afford it based of the position they have in the market. The users â€œhave no other choice than to acceptâ€ the new regimes â€“ well, they have but culturally it might be hard to get off Facebook for a teenager of all the friends are on their â€“ to name just one.
However, the interesting part starts, when you look at the economy. I guess very few people really work for free. We all do for the family, charity or clubs but basically when we work for a company, we get paid â€“ at least I do. If you look at it from a company perspective, they need to get the revenue to pay the salaries, right? So far, so good. Now we have companies, which offer services for free like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. â€“ how do they pay the salaries? Right, through advertising. It is very interesting for companies to do targeted marketing instead of just â€œspray and prayâ€. They will pay money for that. But in order to do targeted advertising (and thus finance the â€œfor freeâ€ service), the advertiser wants to know you, your interests etc. to serve you as good as possible. Makes sense? So, your data is what companies are interested in, you are trading your data, your privacy for the free service. You agreed to it and you do it voluntarily. Keep that in mind.
Therefore, whenever a service is free, you are the product to be sold.
Let me make a final remark: I want to be very clear that quite some companies currently are crossing a boarder when it comes to privacy, which I feel is unacceptable. Especially as they collect data from different sources they own, from different services they run and then correlate data. There is a limit, what should be done with my data. So, I do not feel that the current situation is ok, but it is not only the governmentâ€™s role to do something against it. If you stop using the service and others do as well, the companyâ€™s revenue stream will drop. It is all about money.
The social implications of this model are, what really worries me. There were a lot of discussions about the NSA (or any other government) spying on foreigners. A lot of people got upset but did somebody really change the way they use technology? Did somebody really stop using Facbook, Twitter, Dorpbox, Skydrive, etc.? I am not aware of too many people. We are upset but we are ready to accept the risks for the benefit we get. As I said, it is in your hands to a certain extent how far you want to influence where your personal data resides, knowing that 90% of the technology we use day in and day out is developed by US-based companies and 90% of the hardware we use is manufactured in Asia.
- Creeps and Geeks: How to control your online Privacy (connermullanj.wordpress.com)
- Google hit with privacy complaints in 14 EU countries (computerworld.co.nz)
- The Great Canadian Personal Data Grab Continues: Bell Expands Its Consumer Monitoring and Profiling (michaelgeist.ca)
- Surveillance as a Business Model (schneier.com)
- Data Protection: employee use of personal devices (blasermills.co.uk)
- The Most Powerful Man In Media Would Rather Have Relevant Advertising Than Privacy (WPPGY) (businessinsider.com)