Andy wants to know really, what are the pluses and minuses to being so connected to the internet. Leo says there is a trade-off. The bonus is, we have access to just about every piece of data we need. The downside is, we sacrifice privacy as online services know everything about us. But just how invasive is that? They don't know everything about us, just activity. So while the privacy angle is complex, it's also overrated. Targeted ads aren't bad if they're useful
Richard wants to know if he refuses to agree to terms of service or permissions on his Amazon Fire Tablet, will he be able to use it still? Leo says you can. They ask for it because they know people don't read it, and they want to scan your data to show you targeted ads. You may lose a few features, but odds are, they aren't worth having if you say no.
Check out TOSDR to understand what your terms of service and permissions really mean.
Under fire for privacy issues, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberg wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal explaining why and how Facebook collects your data and what they do with it. Leo says he thinks that Zuckerberg did a decent job of making his case for the business model Facebook uses. But he's also making the plea for regulators not to regulate social media.
Ellen is concerned that with a camera, microphone and GPS, that her phone could be spying on her. Rich says that one company, ZTE, was banned in the US because its phone was collecting user information and phoning home with it. But Rich says that was probably a software issue. Phones aren't really spying on people, per se. But when she signs up for free services like Facebook, they are aggregating a lot of user behavior that is used to push ads to her. It seems like spying, but it's more that it provides information for her based on her interests and online behavior.