The price for free online service, down to the last decimal

I’ve been thinking lately that websites should display a pie chart showing what you’re really paying for “free” online services, just to show that it really does always add up to 100%. Something like this:

Price for Using Our 'Free' Service

Now Drummond points us to the world’s first truly honest privacy policy. A taste:

Remember, when you visit our Web site, our Web site is also visiting you. And we’ve brought a dozen or more friends with us, depending on how many ad networks and third-party data services we use.

Read the whole thing if you want to know exactly how to fit the price into your web-surfing budget.

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4 Comments to “The price for free online service, down to the last decimal”

  1. Saqib Ali 10 December 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I hoping that one day personal data exposures become so common that no one would want to pay money for it i.e. buy. That way these website won’t be able to sell my personal data to anyone!

  2. jojo 10 December 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Reality check! Most people given the price of freedom spiel will opt for price of freedom for free because this precedence was set a long time ago. Case in point, 98% of consumers will only use services such as search engine, email, social services that are free.

  3. Eve 10 December 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I agree with you that free services are powerful attractors, and that’s not inherently a bad thing. I just think people should understand what they’re paying, and decide if they’re okay with that. Everyone has a different set point. (See my previous post for a more serious take on the subject…)

  4. […] With decustomerization Bruce refers to the trend that we get IT services for free, but then become the product contrary to the customer, e.g., Google, or Facebook. Eve Maler also has some blog posts on this, for example “The price of free service“. […]