There is nothing in this world that is free. Everything has a cost. Unfortunately we have been conditioned to believe money and time are the only real costs in life. This is probably because it’s the most quantifiable.
The internet would not be where it is right now if information was not monetized so the benefits are clear. The so-called “free internet” has been paid for by information, private information, collective information, advertising information, all types of information.
Unfortunately people did not realise this when email was free. What? search engines are free, social networks are free. Free news, free services, free everything. In fact if you charge money for people to get information on the internet you as a business are doomed. Everyone expects it to be “free”.
But as mentioned nothing is for free. The cost is quite simple, your information. Your private information, your business information, your purchasing information, even your friends’ information. This is the currency of the internet. So I’m surprised that two decades later people are complaining about their information being used. How do they think they were paying for the “free” stuff?
It’s all collected. everything you do online. Sometimes it benefits you, by providing tailored services, or advertising products and recommendations you may actually benefit from, and sometimes the information is for others like corporations, advertisers, governments, associates, subsidiaries etc. But don’t be fooled monetizing information is the main goal.
The good news is the scale of the internet wouldn’t be where it is if we knew what we where getting in to from the start, if we actually read and understood the “Terms & Conditions” that were too long, too legal and too small to read. The younger generation don’t define private information the way it was done in the past, and are more than happy to share it. Good for them, good for us, and good for the internet.
The open market will police itself. In Fact the market is less forgiving than any law or weak protection clause you may have signed or wanted to sign. If people don’t like what Facebook are doing, it doesn’t matter whether Facebook had a legal right or not, people will just stop using it. The law of nature is unforgiving.