We call the common business model where you give users something for free, and more for money Freemium. It’s a nice simple portmanteau of free and premium.

There’s another business model I think we badly need a word for — the one where users get to use something at no financial cost, but are made to pay, knowingly or un-knowingly, with their personal information instead.

I’d like to propose the word Freepi, pronounced like creepy to describe this Free-for-Personal-Information business model. It’s a combination of the word free and the initials pi for personal information. The fact that many companies who employ this business model do really creepy things just makes the word that much more appropriate.

If you value your privacy, beware companies with freepi business models, they’re very likely to do creepy things!

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