More and more companies are offering their software/apps etc for free but at what cost to the user? How do most of these companies make money if they are not charging? In episode 10 we take a look at how everything about you is valuable and how companies take your data and typically sell to advertisers to make a lot of money. The scary thing? We probably all have surrendered some of personal data to some company, even if we didn’t know it.
It’s not all scary, is it?
Have you ever used Google maps or another navigation app to aid your travels? Well if it’s free, your most likely giving up your data to use it. You’re giving up your location, where your travelling to, the speed at which you’re travelling - the list can go on. However, this obviously comes at a clear benefit to you as you can get to the location you need to be with some additional perks like knowing if there’s traffic on your route, for example. Your data here is being used to sell and is also being used to increase the knowledge and power of the software you’re using. More improvements to the software means better features for users.
BUT I DIDN’T KNOW!
Some companies Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) are lengthy, unclear and riddled with misdirection. This might explain why so many people are likely to skip reading them, research from 2011 suggested that only 7% of Britons read online T&Cs. Did you know, for instance, Facebook state in their T&Cs that they have full right to post your photos anywhere they like if you’ve not set you privacy or application settings correctly? Pretty shocking right? Though lets be clear, they know it is not in their best interests to do that. But hey, you know, if they need to promote something and like the look of your photo…
OK, Let me just fetch my tinfoil hat!
Governments really like your data, it can help them to help you and also give them more information to use for security. Some people have an issue with giving the government their data and there’s plenty of arguments about whether they actually need it or not. We’ve all heard by now about the Edward Snowden leaks and the uproar it produced. We touched a little on this in our previous podcast on Security & Data Breaches.
Why am i not getting paid?!
Good point. There’s plenty of arguments and other companies that think you should get paid for your data. The thing is, as one singular person, your data is not really worth a hell of a lot. But once combined with everyone else’s it is much more useful and companies will pay for it to better sell their products and services. There’s even some software that can help you store all your info to sell at a later date. But whether someone want’s to know about your favourite stamp collection or the fact that you have been searching for solutions for mould on the wall is a different question altogether.