If you are not paying for it, you are not the customer. You're the product being sold.

This applies to all social media and free apps, not just Face Book.

If you use a VPN, you’ve likely seen the difference in privacy options when accessing websites online. There is a marked difference if you access web sites from an EU country as opposed to access from the U.S. (access from a California server is often not much better.)

Whether you use a VPN or not, paying can help insure some privacy, but is NO guarantee. Subscribers are NOT necessarily guaranteed anonymity. If you have a paid subscription to a news outlet for example, such as The NY Times (which I love), try asking them NOT to sell your information. You’ll be greeted with pages and pages of gobbly-gook meant to discourage any attempt to ask them NOT to sell your data, then proceeds to shroud, complicate and obfuscate any such request in such a way that you’re never quite sure of your status.

Apps like Little Snitch et al. can help, but often can make a site non-operative.

What is needed is a comprehensive No/Yes option available on the home page of every web site asking if they can monetize and/or otherwise distribute your data, with periodic publicly-available audits to ensure compliance. Period. Anything else is like purchasing carbon offsets. You can never be sure if you’re helping save the planet, or just part of a huge Ponzi scheme.


This blog post from Mozilla has more on the matter.