SXSW Panel - Paying with Data: How Free Services Aren't Free

Until privacy advocates start freaking out about Facebook privacy settings or default broadcast settings on Google Buzz, the general population doesn’t quite understand just how much data they are offering up in exchange for use of free services on the internet. Each field filled out, each click gets translated into data-driven product improvements or are used to serve up increasingly targeted advertisements. Chris Anderson has explored the paradigm of “free” economics, but the concept hasn’t been taken far enough to suggest that we think of each data point as an economic transaction occurring between the user and the service provider, even in these “free” services. This panel will explore the idea that perhaps all user inputs could be thought of as micro-transactions of data in order to help users better comprehend the burden of the data exposure implicit in those exchanges.

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