The cycle repeats, and the privacy invasions continue, because data is the new currency of the Internet. The more data that a company has about you, the more useful it can make itself—both to you and to advertisers—and the more money it can earn. A search engine needs data to search. A social network needs data to help you network. Right now, advertising funds the Internet; and the more that advertisers can target you, the more they will pay. Booz Allen Hamilton recently reported that government restrictions on the use of private data would dramatically decrease both the amount of venture capital going into Silicon Valley and the amount of innovation coming out of it.
via The New Yorker.