Nothing in life is free
I heard this saying a lot as a youth and yet, now that I’m grown, it seems to be what we all expect. Google offers free email and a whole suite of products that you don’t have to pay for. Facebook allows us to connect with friends and family for free. But wait, the last I checked, we are a capitalistic society. How are these companies making billions of dollars on a free service? Through advertising.
In the early days of web design, each company used to sell space on their own websites in the form of a banner. Google decided to bring all that advertising under one umbrella and in some ways, it has helped smaller companies to monetize their sites and made Google a billion dollar company in the process.
OK, so the software that Google, Facebook, etc provides, is not really free after all. We give them our data, they give us free software. Sounds like a fair trade, what do I care about my data, right? This is subject to debate because right now, these companies are not doing anything malicious with the data that they collect. They have, however, been negligent with that information by letting others get access to our data and although these companies claim to let you opt out of data collection, we’ve found evidence that they still collect and store our data. You can use your imagination as to why these companies need this much information on everyone in the world.