Is getting things for free always better or treacherous? Do you really want something for free that would cost you not in monitory standards? Do you think it’s good enough to jeopardize your secrets for someone who is trading it for money but giving you free offers instead? And yes my concern is, have you ever thought of why the product available for free is actually FREE?
Let me get to the point of this post. I don’t want to give you knowledge about how social media is currently working on making our lives full of excitement and fun. Or are they really up to something that we don’t know about? As a social media lover it frightens me the way this amazing platform is shaping itself into. Evolving from a method of socializing, to making your life social and I do intent a lot of pun in here.
My word of concern right now is “Privacy”. Something that the free world promises to give us, something that we could ask from by rights. What is privacy for us? An answer that must be well communicated to the organizations who doesn’t know what exactly “we” mean by privacy. For us, privacy means keeping things to ourselves. Things we don’t feel comfortable sharing with other people.
Think about this, how you would feel if you get up in the morning and this is the news flashing on your screen. VIZIO, a producer of smart TVs, paid $2.2 million to settle charges from the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General after VIZIO collected viewing data on 11 million consumer TVs without consent. How secure does your television sound to you right now? Think about every device monitoring you and giving some valuable information about you. It’s true that these mammoth companies have been selling the word “Personalize” to you while they do is snatching your privacy & sell your data. Their meaning of personalize is “Surveillance”.
Let me have the pleasure of quoting another example here. This one is said by Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insights of the Local Search Association: “Let’s say I’m McDonald’s and I want to see how many of my customers also eat at Chipotle because I’m trying to understand who my competitors are,” Sterling says. “I can figure out who has come to McDonald’s and who has also gone to Chipotle within a certain period of time in the aggregate.” How fascinating that would sound for the marketers of McDonald’s but how terrifying should it sounds for the customers. Every other company is trying to monitor all your activities just so that they can sell things in a better way to you.
Privacy is still a subjective matter because as you have seen, it has a different meaning to every individual. Some of us don’t mind giving away our personal data to firms in return of having better choices of products and services offered by them. But some of us don’t even want the company to know our email address or phone numbers because we feel creeped out about the fact that companies knows anything and everything about you and they are trying to sell products based on that data. The whole mission of big data and data collection is simply, it’s to know you better and personally so that you can be manipulated to buy their products. Now the decision is yours! Do you want to be known to them? Do you want to be manipulated by them? And don’t you want to be a person and not just a piece of data in this digital world?