I’ve been saying this for a long time. I can recall the moment I realized that if the service is free, I’m the product.
I had an idea in 2012 for a music service, and after banging my head around on how I would monetize, I realized Facebook’s potential for making loads of money off user data. This is roughly when I stopped feeding the beast that is Facebook until they compensated me for my data.
You don’t get the grain from the farmer for free to sell in your market for 100% profit. One could argue that they provide the service through which such grain is produced, and without, there would be no grain. Sure, if the grain was also available to the farmer.
Either pay users for their data or give them access to a proportionate amount of the data to sell themselves. I wouldn’t be comfortable selling other peoples data–which goes to show how amoral Facebook (and others) really are.
Chris Hughes talks about a model for dividends, similar to oil returns for Alaska residents.