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It's OK to Give Away Your Personal Data to Cloud Companies

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(Diesen Artikel gibt es auch in deutscher Sprache.)

It is totally fine when you give away your personal data to companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and such.

Under the following conditions:

Background Knowledge

You are able to understand the real and in-depth consequences which are mostly not mentioned or understood by the main-stream media and hidden from you as much as possible by the cloud companies themselves.

The data accumulated by those companies most probably contains your complete life: all your cloud-emails, messages, likes, financial status, income, health data of all kind, political opinion, movement profile, willingness to pay more on certain product categories (own Apple devices?). Just to mention a few important ones.

Selling your raw data and - even worse - selling of potentially wrongly interpreted data of you to all parties is fine to you. Please do notice that this is unregulated business includes parties such as your bank, your insurance companies, potential employers, advertising companies, political parties, and so forth. After all, it's a 200 Billion Dollar business according to estimations.

My standard example: you're "connected" (friends, likes, ...) to a few people doing high-risk hobbies such as paragliding, deep wrack diving, parachuting and so forth. Companies derive a certain percentage of probability that you're doing those hobbies as well even when you don't. Insurance companies - by default! - buy such analysis data from the usual data brokers. Obviously, insurance companies do categorize new customers according to acquired profile data. You do not even notice that all of the three options for products of the insurance company consist of the highest cost category they do provide. You won't notice and the insurance company even don't know that their algorithm decided on wrong data.

You need to be OK with this.

Proportionality

You do find that the information you give away directly or indirectly (including the consequences mentioned above) is an adequate compensation for the current services you consume.

Notice that while you gave away your data for ever, you can't assume to get those services for a long time as I explained on this article. The same article links all kind of events where customers of cloud services faced really severe negative consequences they were not able to anticipate before.

Long-Term Aspects

You understand that when your opinion on your "giving data away"-policy will change, there is no roll-back of the data points you gave away so far

One of the most important assets you most probably gave away already is a highly accurate and detailed psychological profile of highest quality which is more or less stable over many, many years if not for your whole lifetime. And anybody is able to buy it.

The only thing you are able to do is stop "feeding" those profiles.

Peer Expectations

You don't assume that people like me am OK with giving away our personal data to companies the same way as you do.

I will never use a Facebook account.

If You're Unsure ...

If you're not feeling OK with any of the conditions above, I do urge you to invest a bit of research on this topic, listen to independent experts, follow the work of acknowledged journalists and re-evaluate your policies soon. It's your future self who is at stake. If there is a chance you potentially may change your opinion when you realize that companies are doing more with your data than you would expect, you should learn about it at soon as possible to limit the damage now.

If you do think that my expertise might help you, feel free to follow one or more of my tags that are related to this subject:

You should also read my article on why you can't control your data in the cloud which got mentioned above. It contains tons of sources where consumers of cloud services faced severe negative consequences while it was too late. Just to widen up your imagination with some facts that happened in the past.


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