People Unwilling to Pay for Privacy are Doomed to Lose It (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

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“When WhatsApp was acquired last week by Facebook, it led to a wave of indignation. People feared for their privacy, because Facebook uses different terms of service. … There is an ancient economic law: if it costs nothing, it’s worth nothing. When we pay nothing for our privacy, we indicate the limited value we attach to it. Even if we are too lazy to read the terms of use, we know full well that we pay for those services from Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and G-mail, with the personal data we leave behind.”

By Chris Jongeneel
Translated By Marion Pini

Even if we’re too lazy to read the terms of use, we know full well that we pay for those free services from Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and G-mail, with the personal data we leave behind. Which, science journalist Chris Jongeneel writes, makes all the indignation about it so curious.

Anyone with a mobile phone is given a decent privacy-resistant messaging service: SMS texting. It requires a unit price. Therefore, many Dutch switched to WhatsApp – because it is “free.”

When WhatsApp was acquired last week by Facebook, it led to a wave of indignation. People feared for their privacy, because Facebook uses different terms of service. But rather than switching back to SMS texting, many instead installed the Russian alternative- Telegram – because it’s “free.” We apparently think privacy is important, but that is shouldn’t cost anything.

There is an ancient economic law: if it costs nothing, it’s worth nothing. When we pay nothing for our privacy, we indicate the limited value we attach to it. Even if we are too lazy to read the terms of use, we know full well that we pay for those services from Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and G-mail, with the personal data we leave behind. The outrage over WhatsApp’snew conditions of service is therefore curious. After all, who ever knew the conditions under which WhatsApp was being used?…

More…

http://worldmeets.us/devolkskrant000023.shtml#axzz2uWMoJTLI

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