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comment by bhrgunatha
bhrgunatha  ·  362 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: Simple Opt-Out

Thanks for this.

It's good to have a resource to aggregate how to opt out but it's only simple in relation to tracking down the links and policies yourself. It's still far from actually being simple.

I think the only solution is if there's a more enlightened future where privacy and the right to avoid constant surveillance (both online and offline) is a human right.

Sadly we're willingly accelerating fast away from that future.

veen  ·  362 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On some levels, it's a losing battle against big tech companies with pockets deeper than the Mariana Trench. On another, there are not a lot of companies actually interested enough to connect the dots that make up the trail of one's online footprint. There are a lot of people who want to know a little about you and don't care much beyond that, and I think sites like these help you get out of at least those drag nets.

The bigger privacy issues aren't going to be solved by things like this, it's probably only gonna be reduced by something akin to GDPR scaring the ever living shit out of every liability department in every tech company.

goobster  ·  362 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you have this backwards.

Tech companies had to pay for their operations, after people balked at buying $500 sets of CDs of Adobe Photoshop, every 3 years.

The web was invented, and "Software as a Service" became a thing, and a different way to make money.

So people balked at spending $5/mo for the same software they would have paid $500 for on a CD.

Then other people decided that the user's data was even more valuable than the software itself, so now they give away the software (or charge a nominal fee of $1 or $2.99 for an app), and then make money off your data on the back end.

Someone has to pay for the programmers.

As soon as people realize that their data is precious - and worth far more than $500 - they will go back to paying for the can't-share-my-data version of applications.

It's not a zero-sum game. Employees have to get paid to provide the services you want. They will either get paid by you buying their app for a reasonable amount, or they will get it by selling your data to someone else.

veen  ·  362 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you're talking about something else. What I am talking about is that I see two types of privacy-infringing companies; the gigantic tech/ad companies, who have no financial reason not to track the ever living shit out of you; and the smaller (tech) companies who maybe want your zipcode and email address and have with that enough consumer data to Pareto optimize their business to you. My link mostly helps with the latter.

The former is a different beast. Adobe, despite being objectively a terrible company, probably wouldn't do much with your data if they didn't have large data brokers to sell it to.

Even if Google has ten times the switches to flip, I have lost my faith enough in them that I simply assume they track more than they say. And yes, somewhere down the line that is because there's Mountain View nerds to feed and rock-ridden buses to repair. But that seems to me almost inconsequential, almost tangential when compared to the decade-plus long drum of data-collection that has been beaten, which to me is the real culprit here.

kleinbl00  ·  361 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I actually read a paper book about telecom architecture and topology. It made the point that there's really only one product the only thing that changes is how you pay for it: do you buy the gear? Do you lease the gear and pay for the hookups? Do you lease everything? Do you pay someone to fix it? If you look at it, you're buying "connectivity" and paying for it in seven different ways.

Adobe is apt. They used to sacrifice 80% of sales to piracy. But then, they also used to charge $1100 a year to upgrade from CSx to CSy. Now they're at $50 a month. The people who aren't using Creative Cloud aren't paying for it when they're not using it, sure - but the people who can't afford $1100 a year (every year!) are much more likely to pay $50 when they have a gig, fire up their software, spit out the project and cancel their subscription until next time which means Adobe gets $50 (or $100, or $150) instead of $0. Piracy has dropped to something like 15%.

Autodesk finally did a similar thing. 85% of the instances of AutoCAD in the world were pirated, and they were all lightly used. So they decided they'd rather give away free versions of Fusion 360 that you have to pay for if you actually start making serious money with it.

The model has become "have a client? Pay us money" which seems to work for every creative I know. In contrast, Facebook and Google are at "you're never going to pay us money ever, so we're going to have to take value from you." And if you're going to take something, it best be something your victim doesn't know the value of.

Unfortunately it's something you don't really know the value of either, nor do the people you're selling it to. So everyone assumes it's worth nothing until it's all gone.

goobster  ·  360 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Like KB alluded to, you gotta peel back the layers: someone has to get paid.

If YOU are not paying for it out of pocket, you are paying for it in some other way. Either through your taxes, or the collection and sale of your personal information/data.

Wrap that in the cloak of "privacy-infringing companies" if you like, but they wouldn't be infringing privacy if people valued their personal information more than a customized news feed.

Adobe could do an A/B test:

Option 1: $500/year for the Creative Suite, or

Option 2: Creative Suite is FREE for everyone... but Adobe gets a perpetual license to everything you make using their tools, or

Option 3: Creative Suite is $5/month, but all your data - name, address, browsing history, ad history, etc., is Adobe's to use in any way they want forever. (Hint: This is today's model.)

If people had a choice to protect their data, and pay for the software up front (like they used to), I bet that number of users would increase every single year.