Sunday, May 9, 2010
Haute couture 2010: Privacy
Your latest luxury item to brag about
The fate of chronic privacy deprivation that we are facing worries quite a few, and spurs a lot of heated discussions "we will do it better!".
Those inevitably bring up a question: "But Facebook is free, who is going to pay you ?"
So here's my take on it. Similar to how you have to be "rich" to control your weight, you will have to be "rich" to control your privacy.
So, the new services would have free accounts that are all-public (which is how you have to treat your info now, anyway - just extrapolate).
The paid accounts (something in the ballpark of $9/month) would allow making the information private. Or, one could go a bit more creative and sell privacy apiece - the more you pay, the more you can hide, and you pay only for the stuff you want to hide - so the distinction between the paid and free accounts would blur.
All of the accounts would allow the export of data into other services, should "this" social provider go off-rail.
The data formats as well as the interaction between the different providers would be standardized, so it would not really matter whether you and your friends are on the same provider or not.
This may not seem pretty, but I think this approach would be better than changing the smallprint in the ToS overtime.
Because there's no free lunch. It's just about charging in different currencies.
Now, I am curious (and you probably are curious too) about the correctness of the assumptions above, so here's a poll for you.