Data is apparently the new oil, and unlike the nonrenewable petroleum liquid we unearth with giant drilling rigs, it's an unlimited resource that can be extracted in seconds. So why do we give it away for free? To find an answer, you have to look back to the early days of the internet. Decades ago, tech giants and the people who signed up for their services shook hands on a tacit pact. In exchange for access to their apps for free, companies like Facebook and Google would reserve a portion of our screens for advertisements. At the time, it seemed like a fair deal. After all, we were already used to ads on other content channels such as newspapers and televisions. While years later the premise remains the same, that agreement's boundaries have expanded in unimaginable ways at the cost of people's privacy. Tech platforms have built empires by siphoning heaps of data from our internet (and real-life) activities to predict behaviors, by selling it (often covertly) to third-party brokers, and by leveraging that data to gain insights that other tech companies simply don't have. Whether you've tapped on a button or relocated to a new home, chances are these… Read full this story
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