May 24

It's all about your data

I don't even know why I was so surprised hearing about Facebook's acquisition of Giphy. Perhaps because in my head I devide companies in good and bad ones, and I really had thought Giphy with its anarchic, trashy flavor was definetly one of the good ones.

As far as I know, like many internet startups Giphy does not make any serious money. It's like internet companies today are not even trying to have a serious business model. It's just about getting users and then someone will sure buy the data.

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My tactic is like - I know companies like Google and Facebook only want my data, so I can choose to use their services or not. But what if I use a website, not knowing that it will be sold to some Valley company anyways, together with all the information I gave them? I am not an expert in privacy, but I really think there is a gap somewhere if that's possible. One should be able to decide what information can be used for advertisement, algorithms, AI training etc.

Another service that got my attention lately is Google Webfonts. I am not sure if many of the users know why Google provides such a service for free. Probably for historic reasons people think stuff on the interwebs is free. It's just how things went down, and now everybody is used to it.

The first time I wondered why something is free was when Google bought Analytics. Why would they give that away for free? Even more scary is Gmail and GoogleDocs. Scary because people write intimate things there or use it for business related information. I have never seen a disclaimer that read: "You get this for free because we use everything you enter to target you. Thanks!". It is probably written somewhere, but nobody finds it.

I just realize that I'm ranting up.. Why am I always logged in? Google has me logged in just because I was logged in on YouTube? Why can't I be logged in to Youtube but not on Google. It does not make any sense.

Thinking about what google knows - Analytics, AdWords, Webfonts on third party websites, then Google, YouTube, Google Docs, Gmail - it's scary to me. But it seems most non tech people do not know and most tech people don't care.

BTW, when searching for Giphy alternatives, I found out that Google also bought a Gif platform - Tenor. So Mozilla, if you are reading this: Please build a Gif platform, maybe "Gifzilla"?