Let Me Pay for Facebook

One reason I appreciate Apple and my iPhone is their dedication to user privacy. The most recent update to iOS gave users the ability to stop apps from tracking your phone usage across different apps. Facebook (and Instagram) in response is using a prompt to convince users to turn ad-tracking back on "to keep Facebook free." A scare tactic, in other words.

Here's the thing—I would LOVE the ability to pay Facebook a nominal fee to get of ads and tracking. For too long we've been tricked into thinking that everything on the Internet is "free," when in fact it's our data, habits, and usage that's the product being sold.I posted the other day somewhat jokingly about paying for a weather app. But I not only pay for a weather app, I also pay for my email service (Fastmail); Marco Polo; my blog host; and a newspaper subscription because—

1) I don't want to be inundated by ads;

2) I don't want apps taking all my data and selling it;

3) I think the work that developers and journalists do is worth paying for;

4) "Cheap" and "Free" usually means that either I'm the product being sold; or someone is being exploited for my benefit. I'd rather not do it, if possible.

Of course I can't do this perfectly. I still use Facebook; I still shop Amazon; I still have clothes that were made by people who's lives I know I'd rather not swap places with.But I think it's important to make changes where I can; and, if I simply can't afford the more equitable or ethical option, chose to opt out.

Anyway, long story short—if your phone asks you to turn off ad-tracking, you should. Hopefully Apple can create enough pressure on Facebook, et. al. to change their business model.