Never Forget That You’re the Product

Hi from somewhere between Newark and Las Vegas, as I fly across this great country to give the opening keynote of the 2018 Association of Change Management Professionals.

As I was waiting to board, I was chatting with another passenger, and we got to talking about Facebook’s latest privacy fiasco. He was super-angry, explaining how his trust of Facebook was completely gone.

I agreed that Facebook definitely was in the wrong, but then asked him why he felt Facebook owed him any privacy in the first place, since he wasn’t Facebook’s customer.

“What do you mean? Of course I’m Facebook’s customer! I use their service every day!”

“But you’ve never paid for it,” I countered. “Did you pay for your flight on United Airlines today?”

“Of course I did,” he said. “Then you’re United’s customer today.” But if you’ve never paid for Facebook, you’re not their customer. The advertisers on Facebook trying to reach you? They’re Facebook’s customer. You’re simply Facebook’s product.”

Remember, my friends – your privacy isn’t guaranteed on any social network. Even if the social network’s terms of service says it is, they can change it anytime they want. And let’s be honest: When was the last time you really read any company’s entire terms of service?

In the end, if you want the best chance at keeping your private information private, don’t put it online.

Seats are selling out fast for the ShankMinds: NYC one day entrepreneur conference! With a brand new keynote from me as well as one from the head of global security at Bloomberg, tons of networking, presentations and massive discounts from companies like FreshBooks, Gogo Inflight Wireless, Makerbot and others, plus masterminding sessions throughout the day to take your business to new heights, you won’t want to miss this! June 15th, NYC! Grab your early-bird priced tickets now!

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