This blog post is dedicated to my cousin, Tony Neetz.
Well, after our email discussion about this, Tony gave me permission to use his email as a blog post. So first, the email. The highlighted portions of the original email are exactly as Tony had highlighted as questionable in his email to me.
1 person here at work told me about a great new music service called “Spotify” which gives you access to a whole ton of free music. I checked it out and it was really great. Found lots of stuff on there that I hadn’t seen in a long time.
1. How we collect and use personal information
If you choose to activate Spotify Social or otherwise publish your playlists, starred music top lists, and current playing song (hereafter jointly “Playlists”), your Playlist information will be publicly available to other Spotify users (for example, on your Spotify profile page or social activity stream) and may be used, or re-shared by other Spotify users. Spotify is not responsible for the use or re-sharing of Playlist information by others once it is made public.
[End of Email]
My response back to Tony was that yes, I’d heard of Spotify and it was the ‘next big thing’ mainly because of Facebook, and that no, he wasn’t wrong in being wary about this.
This is a perfect example of what I’ve been trying to tell all of you for years now. Your privacy is no longer ensured with social media sites and apps. End of story.
You want privacy? Don’t use social media apps. It’s that simple. You want total privacy? Get off the Internet.
The Plain and Simple Truth
I won’t get into my long and boring rant about basic economics but I will attempt to educate you as simply as I can in case you slept through your economics course in High School or College.
The young tech start-ups have one goal in mind – take the company public. That means they want to become a publicly traded company on the stock exchange and become the next Internet billionaire.
When companies go public, their investors – the people who buy their stock – expect returns on their investment. That means a consistent profit from that company. How does a company turn a profit when they are providing a free service to their users? Think about that for a second! How do you make money when your service is free?
The plain and simple truth is you can’t and you won’t. Therefore, the company offering you the free service has to be selling something to someone else. What are they selling? YOU! Your data. Your habits. Your personal likes and dislikes.
And who are they selling it to? Advertisers.
The service you are using for free is being paid for by your privacy.
Can I make it any simpler than that?
You have a choice. You either choose to use the free services and pay for it with your privacy so the company can make money and keep their stock holders happy, or you choose to use other alternatives. And if you don’t know what alternatives there are to what you’re looking for, please feel free to post a comment and ask.
Remember, there really are no free lunches in a capitalist society!
Image Source: Microsoft Clip Gallery