Consider this statement – Mark Zuckerberg also says that the trend is not to collect data anymore. This is a clear indication that the pendulum is going back to an old set point. All of us should worry about our privacy, especially digital privacy. The fact is that companies like Facebook and Google have thrived based on their access to vast amounts of consumer data. This access was made possible by us – giving up our privacy to get targeted ads based on our habits and patterns.
For a bit it seemed like people didn’t mind losing their privacy and big companies were rewarded well by Wall Street. For instance, Facebook was listed on Nasdaq in 2012 and had a market cap of $60 billion. This number grew to become $1 trillion by August 2021. Google had a similar path to growth. This was possible thanks to consumer data monetization by both these giants.
A report published by the Economist magazine in 2017 talked about this very issue and called data a very valuable resource, more precious than oil or gold. Consumers are now understanding the import of this statement and concerned about how their information is being used. This has resulted in a situation where data is not as freely available. Consumers are now more aware of their right to privacy.
Companies like Apple are making it harder for apps to track user data by offering the option to choose or not. In response to this change, Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is working on rebuilding infrastructure so that high quality ads which are personalized is still possible. Apple’s move to offer privacy to consumers was well-received and Meta (previously Facebook) stock dropped 26% in value.
Privacy is very closely tied to crypto because of how difficult it is to create a digital wallet and even converting crypto to cash. Investors are glad to have the chance to talk meaningfully about technologies that make privacy a priority.