A Swedish colleague made me aware that I am featured in some kind of quote of the week in Swedish IT newspaper Computer Sweden.
On du utnyttjar en tjänst som du inte behöver betala för är det inte du som är kunden, då är det du som är varan.
Now, in the words of Alexander Smith, to be occasionally quoted is the only fame I care for, so I’m really happy. This is a step in the right direction towards a meaty, forthcoming collection of Thore’s Best Aphorisms or The Quotable Husfeldt or something like that.
(In fact, the quote doesn’t sound like very good Swedish to me. Seeing something you said quoted is strange already. Seeing something you said in your fourth language is even stranger.)
The quote must come from a recent interview with Svenska Dagbladet inspired by the filter bubble, and is aimed at Google’s business model. It goes without saying that there are plenty of free IT products, in particular from the open source community, that don’t view me as a product. Syntactic awkwardness and quibbles of generality aside, I think it’s a good quote.
In the words of Monty Python’s Oscar Wilde sketch, I wish I had said it.
Here’s the source:
If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.
The quote opens chapter 1 of Eli Pariser’s book The Filter Bubble and is attributed to Andrew Lewis, under the handle blue_beetle. Much pithier. In fact, the quoted website metafilter.com gives the quote as “[…] paying for it […]”.
(Of course, Wilde probably already said it a century ago, and even better.)