the great pivot to privacy
Like the surveillance economy but now with privacy.
Google and Facebook are trying to redefine themselves as privacy-focused companies, but that framing is at odds with their lucradive business models.
Consider the following:
- Google and Facebook make money by monetizing people's data.
- They built targeted advertising platforms that are powered by user data generated from their free services (e.g. Gmail, Google Search, Facebook Newsfeed, etc.)
- It turns out that the history of someone's interactions with a digital product can be highly predictive of who they are and what they like.
- Advertisers are willing to spend a lot of money to use this kind of data.
Neither company is backing away from their advertising business models yet, so either the privacy play is a distraction, or we're about to see two gigantic companies attempt to gracefully turn towards privacy.
Don't Play in Google's Privacy Sandbox, The Electronic Frontier Foundation