Miruna Codeanu

Privacy, the latest trading currency

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

Privacy1Secret, Whisper, Yammer, Every Me, Android’s IOS 8 and even the Bitcoin cryptocurrency,  all show a trend: our privacy is becoming a major concern for us, and not only for us, but also for companies. There are companies who are starting to ground their business strategies on privacy, there are companies using privacy as their USP.

We are traders and data is our trading currency. We sell and companies buy. Users have been going mad at Facebook and others being under the impression that they get nothing in exchange for their data. Back in 2009, I wrote a paper on why users choose Facebook over other options, it was the boom of Facebook, but, still, people were making a consumer’s choice. Traditionally, we’re used to thinking that we should pay an amount of money for everything we’re consuming, but truth is, we can pay anything else for what we’re consuming. We can also pay what we consume with our data. Internet gives us this option. Any free services will be paid with your data, some way or another. It’s not only Facebook doing it, it’s also Google and many other companies. Facebook’s problem is that they don’t deliver explanations fast enough before the whole issue becoming the object of conspiracy theories.

Recently, I’ve added Ghostery to my browser. Somewhere around 5-6 tracking tools is the average number a website uses. And it’s not only social media doing it, everybody is doing it, because data has become extremely important. There is some kind of general paranoia installing itself comfortably these days, because people are imagining marketers know exactly who they are and they target them directly. Truth is, we do not know who you are, we don’t target you directly and we’d love to know more about you in terms of: “are you interested in my product?”, otherwise I’m wasting my money and failing to do my business properly. That’s why we need data.

Here’s the downturn of privacy. Your privacy could be making your web experience much more irrelevant. Not having enough information on your profile as an internet user, nobody will be able to deliver relevant content, beginning with the news and ending with advertising. Your privacy could be throwing you back in the Middle Ages. There will be companies like those above mentioned trying to advertise themselves for ensuring your data remains private but your experience with them could prove out to be much more annoying than with the ones using information in order to provide you with relevant content. It’s not only about advertising, it’s also about information itself. For example I use all my social media as media, a source of information, and trust me, I’d rather not waster my time with internet memes and 9Gag content.

I will trade my privacy for relevancy.

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