What We’re Missing in the Privacy Debate — I Want to Show You Something

Toni Koraza

You’ll still get ads, but they won’t be as relevant


I’ve done my best to explain my work to my flatmates, and I’ve failed.

My new agency helps startups find first paying customers

I’m a terrible salesman and wouldn’t manage to sell you bottled water at dunes of Gobi if you’re not thirsty. The keyword here is if.

I can’t change anyone’s mind. 

I’m good at finding people who are already thirsty and giving them the water they want. And it works well for my business. 

I don’t sell. I find buyers.

And If I can’t find the right people, I have to start selling, and nobody likes salesmen. I don’t like salesmen.

I digress.

Privacy is a huge concern when it comes to exploitation

We have witnessed a few scandals in the past decade. 

Europeans blame Cambridge Analytica for Brexit. The left believes Donald Trump exploited and perpetuated obscene ideas to rally the American extremists. And China, well, China has never even pretended to care about privacy. You can buy big data from Tencent and other companies and get a better overview of your potential customers and political constituents.

New tech collects data to distinguish working models from time-wasters. If you dislike the internet because it’s too addicting, how much would you dislike the internet that’s irrelevant? Boring time-wasters are not fun.

Data is democracy in a nutshell. If people wanted Brexit, wouldn’t that be the will of the people perpetuated through data? Data doesn’t manipulate. It uncovers what people want, even if they don’t want to admit they want it.

Am I happy with Brexit? Not one bit.

But I’m afraid Apple is not your savior, and Facebook is not Stalin's spawned minion.

Goliath vs. Goliath

I don’t even like Facebook. 

The platform has caused me more headaches than any other place on the internet. Facebook has flagged 2 Minute Madness twice. The platform would seize my content and then release it two months later, resembling a DOJ investigation you’d see in Hollywood movies —  only less drama and zero action. Nobody is shooting, and the payoff is not counted in cash, only headaches and wasted time.

So why am I siding with Facebook on this one?

First, I wanted to buy iPhone.

Second, if Apple spearheads the privacy issues, we can only get a shit*ier internet experience. The UX design will be worse off, as UX researchers will have trouble finding relevant user data to support designers in making lovely user experiences. Navigation buttons, background colors, contents on the front page, and everything that makes the internet awesome today would digress for iPhone users. 

Apple would make room to build an alternative for the internet, social media, and search engines. Maybe that’s grandiose, but who knows. Let’s go back to what could happen now.

Ads and search results would be less relevant for users queries

When it comes to small business owners, this becomes a glaring concern that can put some people completely out of business.

What would happen if you’re searching for a courier service to move your apartment from Queens to Brooklyn in New York? Imagine if all results turn up for London Brokerage Firms with a few trucks in their lot and situated awful close to Buckingham Palace. It’s nothing wrong with being close to the actual Queen, but that’s not what a moving New Yorker needs.

If you’re a moving company that works in New York, you can face extreme difficulty in reaching your iPhone customers.

I dislike ads that I’m interested in, let alone random promotion that miss the mark

Think of wasted money that could be used for better causes. 

Apple is lowering general efficiency on purpose, which can only result in capital leaks and spills. I don’t need to see Peebuddy's feminine funnels in my feed. I think they’re fantastic. But hey, I’m not your customer. Lets’ not waste time and money we both don’t have.

We have to regulate data collection, but Apple vs. Facebook is a case of using your fear to make more money


Do I like Facebook? No.

Do I think Apple cares for your privacy? Also no.

I don’t want to ruin my internet experience, so a 2 trillion dollar company can make a few extra bucks. 

Apple is making an emotional argument, which can only hinder iPhone’s internet experience.

My job would become harder with no obvious upside. Many small and medium businesses will be forced to close shop or pivot their business models. Finally, the sensationalized debate would obscure the real problems, and we’ll be drawn into pointless debates that will only add revenue to big tech.

We should talk about privacy and find a way to regulate big tech. We should talk more about privacy issues. But Apple vs. Facebook is everything but that conversation.

When Apple limits Facebook’s data collection, you’ll still get ads.

You’ll get shit*ier ads.

Photo by Cj Soh on Unsplash

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