Paying for Online Privacy:
Nothing can guarantee that our privacy is secured

Zineb EL EBZTAM, Morroco

Nowadays, the most valuable resource is no longer oil or gold, it is data. In fact, data is a highly sensitive resource for businesses, governments, advertising companies, and individuals who make use of it to generate informed decisions, enhance processes, and develop new products and services. Several major companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Google have based their businesses mainly on collecting and analysing users ‘data regularly. This new wealth of data can be used to make accurate inferences about user precedence and target their private information in order to sell it to a third party for advertisements. For this purpose, some users think that paying monthly fees would guarantee that their private information stays secure. However, paying for privacy online is not an accurate solution seeing that personal data cannot be protected from being compromised and sold to other parties. Therefore, paying fees will not secure personal data on online platforms.

Online platforms and websites work with highly advanced tracking codes that keep a detailed track record of their users. To begin with, online platforms and websites create detailed profiles of their customers by tracking every group they follow, every comment they make, and every article they share to build a database of information dedicated to advertisements. Furthermore, many users are not aware of the fact that their data which is created by clicks, likes, posts, and searches are collected and tracked on a daily basis. For instance, users can make a simple brief search about a certain concern or take a preferred action on a website, then multiple advertisements that are extremely relevant to their research will be displayed on all their social media platforms. Thus, they ended up wondering whether their phones, laptops, or tablets are reading their minds. Consequently, users’ privacy cannot be secured by paying monthly fees seeing that all online platforms use data-tracking software.

It is known that personal data can be to some extent protected through the use of some highly advanced techniques, yet it still can be compromised and shared with other parties either for harmful or harmless purposes. To start with, end-to-end encryption is considered to be one of the most secure methods of communication, as it ensures that the data is protected from interception or eavesdropping by third parties. Nevertheless, it still does not prevent all data theft and hacking. That is why users must protect their phones and laptop in order to ensure that information is not directly stolen from them. Thus, privacy remains exposed to compromising and hacking even when using the most privileged ways to protect it.

In a nutshell, monthly fees cannot be an accurate solution to protect users’ data online.  Online platforms generate elaborated profiles of their consumers by using tracking techniques that pursue every action they make on these platforms. Furthermore, these online platforms try to protect their users’ privacy by providing confidential techniques such as “End-to-End Encryption”. Nonetheless, these techniques are not safe enough seeing that they could easily be hacked and compromised, which put people’s privacy in danger. Therefore, it is redundant to pay for privacy services on social medial platforms that even the most privileged techniques could not protect.