Practical computer tips, with a smattering of digital philosophy
A letter to Pandora regarding its new look, and increasingly close relationship with Facebook
September 26, 2011Posted by on
To Pandora’s credit, one of the reasons why I am so distressed by the recent changes is that I used to consider Pandora to be one of the very few examples of a site that engaged in “responsible tracking,” in that you folks made it quite clear that Pandora users could choose to pay for the service EITHER by viewing targeted ads and being subject to extensive behavioral tracking, OR by paying a reasonable annual subscription fee. This new interface move seems to me to be evidence that the distinction between paying and non-paying users may not be quite as clear as it was, in as much you are trying to “nudge” ALL of your users into sharing as much information as possible with either you or your corporate partner. There is a reason that I chose to pay you $36 per year, and it isn’t just that I thought you had an idea worth supporting (which I did, and still do). I deeply value my online privacy, and will go to great lengths to protect it. And any attempt to subvert or second-guess my decision on that front is very, very likely to make me want to stop using the site that makes that move.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.