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.

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The Pivots

The Criticism

#privacy pressure #no data to see here