We’ve all heard it said that when a product is apparently free, it’s likely that we’re actually paying for it with data. It happens with social networks, loyalty cards from stores or supermarkets that offer us more or less relevant services in exchange, only, for our personal details. But beyond intuiting that we are the product, we do not really know what exactly is done with our information, or what it consists of and how that payment works with data. In reality, it is not a simple matter, and each application has its own procedures and logics. In the case of Internet browsing, for example, companies and service providers offer us their search engines for free.
In fact, every time we visit a page with the computer, the mobile phone or the tablet, we receive dozens of requests for the installation of cookies. We are, then, the product because in exchange for the information we obtain we provide details about our online activity and, often, personal data such as our name and location, credit card etc.
When the reading says “are applications like Waze truly a solution for the struggles cities face?” I was like, “what, why do you even ask that, it is right?” and then it says “Waze does not tackle the issue of congestion at its source” I realized that this is totally true, Waze has the power to do this and much more for the amount of information that we give them and actually it doesnt do much for its capacity. To what point could this be considered abuse? What we could do about it?
There are companies that have begun to explore the possibility of becoming data brokers of citizens, a kind of data brokers that would manage our information returning a part of the benefit generated by it. But this is not a solution, it would be the same result at the end. By accepting to give our data we end up being a product.
As I said before, it depends on each one and how much privacy you want to have, the best thing would be not to be a “product”