February 24, 2011
Can we be honest about user data?
You know, the publishing business might not be doing itself any favours with its fervent opposition to the Apple subscription terms. The more posts like this that appear, the more our reputation diminishes:
Put simply, publishers don't want readers to opt in, because they know readers will prefer to opt out. Transparency is not a friend of publishers who for decades made a mint by selling out readers to advertisers and list brokers. Most readers may not be aware of this, but those who are don't like it. Publishers know that and hate Apple for calling their bluff. If personal info harvesting isn't essential for publishers' business model and it is in the interest of readers, then why would they be against an instant referendum in the form of the opt in button?
User data is valuable, and will be part of the business model we build in the future. But we need to be significantly more transparent about what we collect, why we collect it - and what the benefit is to the user. Apple is, in effect, challenging us to persuade the user to click "yes". Can you do so?
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