Friday, 25 April 2014

Is 'free' a lie?

Just listened to a great talk given at the RSA by Aral Balkan, about the reality of free data. Quite a bit of it is the usual line of "if you're not paying, you're the product not the customer", but it's put in a pretty hard-hitting and punchy way, and it contains some genuinely new insights. Didn't agree with it all, and a certain level of salesmanship (he's a social entrepreneur founding a company called IndiePhone) but well worth a watch for those into digital issues. 

My favourite quote: "The business model of free is the business model of corporate surveillance". (He extends this idea at some length in his Indie Tech Manifesto.) In a moment of irony, I copied down this quote on Evernote via voice recognition on my Android phone...

I'm getting more and more interested in the ubiquity of information, as enabled through portable devices, and its positive and negative impacts, so this is very timely. 

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