Poll of the week: Would you pay for privacy in apps and social networks?4 min read


One of the most repeated words in the world of technology in 2021 it seems that will be “privacy”. As if the changes Apple implemented in iOS 14.5 weren’t enough, Facebook found itself in a marketing storm after announcing changes to WhatsApp’s rules. While many people claim to be concerned about their privacy and personal data, would they be willing to pay for it?

Apple announced in 2020 that it would give users more control over their personal data, but allowed app developers to prepare for the change – which turns tracking personal data into a new system permission.

The change finally went into effect with iOS 14.5, not without first raising a number of questions from advertisers – whose business model is based on getting the most information about their audience – and social networks, specifically Facebook.

Contrary to the expectations of even us (skeptical) editors of NextPit, Google announced that it will adopt greater transparency in the access of Android apps to personal data of users, but has not yet detailed how this will be done. It’s not yet clear whether it will require apps to ask for permission to collect information.

Facebook Privacy App Store EN
Apple lists the data to which an app (Facebook in the image) has access, Google promised a similar feature / © Apple

With that in mind, what if in order to completely disable personal data tracking, companies asked for a payment for your privacy, would you be willing to do it?

Applications like instant messenger Threema adopt a minimal personal data collection policy for a one-time fee of $3. In return, the company promises to store as little customer data as possible, offering not only privacy, but also anonymity.

If other apps and services offered the same commitment, if you had the option to opt for a payment model, would you choose to pay a lump sum or a privacy “subscription”, with a small monthly or annual fee?

The discussion around the collection and use of personal data by websites and online advertising networks may have gained momentum after the adoption of data protection laws, such as the European GDPR. But traditionally, this has always been a concern in some countries, such as Germany and other northern European countries.

heatmap internetprivacy map
Privacy protection is more respected in wealthy countries / © BestVPN.org

These recent legislations are the cause, for example, for those messages about the use of cookies on the internet, in some cases offering granular controls for what kind of data you allow the site or company responsible for the ads to store about you.

Some people even seem comfortable authorizing the collection of certain browsing patterns in exchange for the display of personalized ads and offers.

With that in mind, if Facebook or any other social network or app offered the option to opt-out of accessing or recording your data in exchange for a payment or microtransaction, what kind of information would you be willing to pay for to prevent access or storage?

With the implementation of WhatsApp’s new privacy and personal data rules next week – May 15th – the topic is likely to come up again numerous times, including here on NextPit, so follow our website and social media for more articles related to the topic.

Before I say goodbye, I invite you to explain your answers in the comments field below. As my colleague Antoine Engels often reminds us, we are much more interested in the debate rather than the pure statistics. Moreover, the opinions and debates within the community help us improve the website and, of course, inspire new polls and articles.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s poll and see you again on Monday, when we’ll discuss the different responses from the NextPit community around the world. Have a great weekend!

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