Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Dec 2012 21:23 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Derek Powazek exposes the meaninglessness of the already overused tripe 'If you're not paying for the product, you are the product'. "But we should not assume that, just because we pay a company they'll treat us better, or that if we're not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers. We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect. And we should all stop saying, 'if you're not paying for the product, you are the product', because it doesn't really mean anything, it excuses the behavior of bad companies, and it makes you sound kind of like a stoner looking at their hand for the first time." Nailed it.
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RE: Comment by kaiwai
by oskeladden on Thu 20th Dec 2012 22:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
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Regarding the 'If you're not paying for the product, you are the product' and his statement 'And just because you pay doesn’t mean you’re not the product. Cable TV companies take our money and sell us to the channels, magazines take our money and still sell ads, banks and credit cards charge us money for the service of having our money.' which ignores the fact that it no way makes the end user the product - the end user BECOMES the product when the said companies started selling demographic data to those wanting to place advertisers so then particular demographics can be targeted - and sorry with cable television you can't do that, you can't say to said cable company, "I only want to target people between ages of 25 to 30 with a minimum of a bachelors degree with an income over $30,000 and are in a same sex relationship" where as in the case of Facebook such can be narrowed down - I have 'interested in males' on my Facebook hence I'm the product sold by Facebook to the 'gay dating site' who wishes to only target people like me.

Sure, cable TV companies can't do that. But credit card companies can do precisely that and have a history of doing so. See my comment about American Express above. All this was well known and a real concern long before the web. The UK's first Data Protection Act was passed in 1984, amid concern over the fact that computers would let companies mine customers' data in ways which could seriously infringe their customers' privacy. Needless to say, at the time these were all paying customers.

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