My email client of choice is Mailbox. A great piece of kit on the iPhone (and hopefully soon on my Mac).
Joyfully, this great app is free. Yes, free!
How can this be?
Well – its pretty simple really.
All of my email is passing through Mailbox’s servers. I have no doubt that all of that data has a value in some way, shape or form.
I daresay that I have accepted buried deep in the terms and conditions, that Dropbox Inc (who own Mailbox) will never use my personal data unless it makes them money, or something similar.
Will.I.Am has said that he believes that we will all look back with wonder at how we gave away all of our personal data for nothing. Actually, I suspect that he said it a whole lot more eloquently than that.
Google and now DropBox see all of my email. The hosting company does too. The vast majority of my electronic filing also exists on a commercial company’s server somewhere. Data privacy is effectively a thing of the past.
What will all of this mean in the long run?
I don’t know.
Where have I ever written anything that would make you think I am smart enough to know that sort of thing?
Companies apparently are prepared to pay to know what stuff I might want to buy – that way, they can sell me stuff.
Terrifying isn’t it?
No. It’s not.
The reality is that I get convenience (a great app) in return for the data.
Increasingly, my junk mail is around subjects that actually interest me. That’s a win as far as I am concerned.
Should I really be worried that Google tracks that I visited the John Lewis website and tells Facebook so that a John Lewis ad appears on my home page?
Why would that worry me at all?
Perhaps I am just too naive, and that one of you knows why I should be terrified that Google knows where I go on the internet?