Albeit services like Facebook or Google are free, the trade-off is a tremendous amount of private user information that is being stolen in order to power their insatiable marketing machines. The problem is that while ignorance plays a role, these free services never made it clear "to consumers what is being taken, and how that information is being used."
[...] as more questions are asked the discrepancy between the claim that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ vs the reality of sleepless surveillance apparatus peering over your shoulder, logging your pulse rate, reading your messages, noting what you look at, for how long and what you do next — and doing so to optimize the lifting of money out of your wallet — then the true consumer cost of ‘free’ becomes more visible than it has ever been.
The tradeoff lie is unraveling, as the scale and implications of the data heist are starting to be processed. One clear tipping point here is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who, two years ago, risked life and liberty to reveal how the U.S. government (and many other governments) were involved in a massive, illegal logging of citizens’ digital communications. The documents he released also showed how commercial technology platforms had been appropriated and drawn into this secretive state surveillance complex. Once governments were implicated, it was only a matter of time before the big Internet platforms, with their mirror data-capturing apparatus, would face questions.
|How the NSA Infiltrates Google and Yahoo Data Centres|
|TOR Users Flagged by NSA as 'Extremists'|
|“Google's DNS resolver is great, but diversity is good and we thought we could do even better.”|
|“You become more difficult for an algorithm to understand, market to, or manipulate.”|
|Canadian Man Arrested for Not Giving Smartphone Password to Canadian Border Official|
|“A mass of meat, ready for human consumption, with no brain or wings or feet.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The deadlines aren't the problem. It's our failure to heed them.”|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Impossible Aerospace founder and CEO Spencer Gore hopes to make self-flying electric planes.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|“World’s largest floatplane-only airline [...] to become an electrically powered airline.”|
|“We are undergoing the greatest economic transformation in our history, and we are dealing with it by pretending nothing is happening.”|
|“To be a creator, not only a consumer.”|