The recently announced anti-trust suit against Google is not about privacy, per se. It is about leveraging monopolistic power to secure a dominant position on mobile devices. One of Google’s claims is that it provides a free service to consumers so there is, in the end, no harm caused by their actions.
In fact, Google is not offering their services for free; they provide us their capabilities in return for our information and our behavioral tendencies. That data is pumped into their algorithms that predicts our behaviors and tendencies and then sold to third parties.
What will be interesting is how much of this will be exposed during the case. Google’s use of data has historically been opaque. It will also be interesting if this case opens more eyes to the importance and value of privacy. Are we perfectly happy giving away our privacy in return for free search, or do we have no other choice because Google has so much dominance it permeates our digital worlds whether we want it or not.
In the end, of course, there is no free lunch (or lemonade). It’s just at what price are we willing to pay?