Disrupting the Hegemony of Digital Monopolies Offering "Free" Value
Digital monopolies stifle competition by offering the public valuable digital goods without monetary compensation. No start-up can compete. These monopolies (e.g. Google, Facebook) make their money from the accumulated intimate knowledge of the public at large, exploiting their size and monopoly status -- creating an irresistible temptation to abuse this gross violation of privacy, and further cement their monopoly status. It's time for regulators to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to the public and disrupt this harmful trend.
Presenting a solution: issue a regulatory edict for offerors of 'free' digital goods, to provide their users with the option to pay cash for these goods in exchange of making no use of the personal information released to the provider by the now paid transaction. To make it fair, the digital merchant will be able to set the price as high as they wish, to compensate them from loss of advertisers and other information based revenue.
A certain proportion of Google, Facebook, and various media users will opt to protect their personal data and pay for it. These paying clients will then be susceptible to a rising wave of startups, offering equal or better digital goods for comparable or cheaper pay. This will fertilize these startups, and healthy competition will ensue, leading in due course to a one or few competitors to today's monopolies.
The technological challenge here is to pay small amounts, even very small amount, say half a cent for a weather forecast; pay fast -- frictionless -- and pay anonymously. BitMint has developed the fitting solution. (21 patents).