Google has been recording activities of its unscrupulous users. You all may be aware but it's possible that this particular aspect that I am sharing here may not have come to notice of millions. Today I went to https://myactivity.google.com
and was surprised to see results going back to 2008! The revelation was this - if you erase anything from your history, it is NEVER deleted. It is just made little obscure. I will advise everyone to go to that page and delete all your activity, though I am not sure how much you can trust Gogle to have actually deleted your data and not stored at a further level down the inception-ladder.
The accumulation of data by the software giants is akin to how Europeans hoarded gold and silver from Americas in exchange for petty cocoa, and as its immediate fall-out, managed to finance their trade in Indian Ocean trade without losing wealth of ther own countries. The further history of them undermining long-established tradition of free-trade and opportunities in Indian Ocean till their dominance was well-established and in a big turn-around of policy strated batting for advantages of free and liberal trade, opportunities, and low tarrifs, needs to be remembered. There has been very less awareness among general masses about how precious a person's data is for which the corollary of gold-cocoa substituting data and online services are very apt.
A small example will highlight the importance and price of data. Storing statistics on how many people have been searching for a particular product and brand to make a trend for propspctive brightspots among companies, makes way for selling the data and related analytics based on such data as reports through consultation services. At its most basic you may feel annoyed at seeing the same amazon items that you once looked at prop up again and again when reading an online article. Or even on @ForumIAS
you sell your right to edit or delete your wriiten content, over which you have an IP, the moment you are done publishing (posting) it. That's your literature. In lieu of free services (gmail, google search) or addictive services (fb, whatsapp) we are being given a deal that we did not ask for. This deal not only compromises transparency and fair dealing with suppliers, and customers who happen to be same party. The other party is a resource-gobbling beheboth. This is not a fair business practice.
There are obvious ethical concerns here such as how many customers are expressly aware what barter exchange is going on between them and the software companies. There are repercussions for security and safety of users. In case data-securty is compromised or the company which is capturing the data is taken over by some other company or even a government. The posibilty of a deep-state having access to citizens' data can't be overstated, be it the security establishment of one's own country or a foreign state. The possibility of a nexus between governments and software companies had recently come to light in wake of whistleblowing incidents by an individual Edward Snowden and Wikileaks.
Commercial interests are very prominent considering the rise of big data analytics. Google and other major software companies have global user-base, which is rising exponentially particularly in emerging economies like India's. The giants have hoarded a lot of data-oil. This calls for action on policy front, some suggestions are expressed below.
1. Each incident of use and referral of a user's data needs to be monetised even if at a nominal rate. Also advisable is a time-based price for continuing to store user-data, even if it is not being used or referred to for anlaytics for the present. This will address the problem of users being unaware of their data and information being captured, stored and monetised and also bring into open a business practice that has been going on unconspicously.
2. A software company or website or service provider, beyond a user-base should need to shift the server in the territory of India, or otherwise be blocked for access.
3. [root wants everyone to contribute more points regarding the government policy towards data in India]
There is immediate need for a data acquisition policy covering all companies in general but keeping peculiar practices of software companies or online service providers in particular focus.
Remember data is the gold, free service is cocoa