Internet is free, but how are these sites getting paid? The truth isthat we are paying with our identity, for example when we use Facebook they logeverything we do, the pages we like, the people we interact with, even thewords in our status updates, then they take that information analyze it andassemble a detailed profile of who you are. They know your habits, yourpreferences, they can even determine risk tolerance or sexual orientation, andthey sell that information to advertisers. They actually record which ads wesee then partner with firms that monitor what we do in the real world, and thenthey just pump us full of ads. This has got to be one of the most invasiveadvertising systems ever devised. Facebook can actually determine who’s themost vulnerable to an ad campaign then up their dosage until they buy evenmore. Sure, you can quit Facebook.
But good luck escaping Google. Googledoesn’t just track you when you search, their tracking software is alsoinstalled on more than ten million websites, even medical sites, so the healthinfo you think you’re looking up in private Google’s got a front-row seat.Every time you write a Gmail, watch a YouTube video, or use Google Maps, Googlecollects data about you. We don’t even know the full extent of what Facebookand Google store, or what they do with that.
All we know is that they’recollecting our data on an unprecedented scale and making billions off of it.That’s their real business model. When we use these sites, we’re not thecustomer, we’re the product.
The fact that the sites are free is the problem.When the web was created, we decided, we would rather have free stuff then payfor the services we used, as a result, the websites have had to sell ads tomake money. They target ads to us based on our preferences and our behavioronline. And that means we’re under constant surveillance in exchange for theseservices that we get “for free”. One in six people on Earth now has a Facebookaccount, and they make up twenty percent of all time spent online. That’s 1.6billion people whose every move is being tracked by an online big brother thatthey chose to live under. For every user they surveil they make just twelvedollars.
Your interests, your personality, your relationships, your privacy,those things are priceless, but you gave them all away just to avoid payingtwelve dollars. So think about it before you click, like, or visit a page oninternet