The Conversation: If it’s free online, you are the product

The Conversation: If it’s free online, you are the product. “No wonder Zuckerberg looked like a deer caught in the headlights in front of congress, even if the questioning is inept and toothless. This is the beginning of a process. A process that could end with transformative, stringent regulation of his business practice or, at the very least, a fight between Facebook and governments over that regulation. But there’s a problem with this. It’s not just Facebook. With any service that you use online that is free – including all Google services (Docs, Gmail, Search) all social media services (Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter) and even Hotmail – your data is the product. Once we start to pull on this thread, once old folks like Senator Orrin Hatch begin to realise just how deeply embedded data harvesting, retargeting, cookie sharing and other ethically ambiguous practices are in digital marketing, where will that take us?”