I’ve recently embarked on a new line of research (for me, not for the world) on customer data privacy. In doing so, I’ve read synthesized versions of about 20 reports, watched some documentaries and have looked into some of the commentary on ridiculously long terms of service. What it all leads up to is the importance for the average person to realize this: the internet isn’t free.
I know some of you are thinking, “I pay a huge cable/internet bill each month, I know it isn’t free;” but realistically you’re paying for the infrastructure – not the content.
So content creators and hosts like Google, Facebook and Amazon take payment from you in data. Data which helps them sell better advertising or serve up recommendations that will keep you on their site to consume more information/produce more data or buy something. Your data is their money maker…which sounds a lot like what my colleague Doug Laney has been saying for years about “infonomics” and eerily similar to that time RadioShack wanted to sell its customer data.
I’m not saying this is fair, but I am saying that it is less unfair than most people make it out to be. From a privacy perspective, 80% of 20 to 40 year old adults in the US and UK have it right: total privacy in the digital age is a thing of the past.
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