Articulating the cost of the “feudal” big internet company model

The internet has turned into warring fiefdoms of new feudal overlords: Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc.

There are advantages of this new feudal model: free products. No system administration hassles. Higher security etc.

I’m trying to articulate the costs and downsides. Less “control” for the individual is not a downside in itself. What are the things that we want to do that we cannot do because of that lack of control?

  • information we may want to keep may be lost, e.g. a photo service with our family pictures might shut down.
  • we cannot manage our own privacy, so information about us is exposed to 3rd parties in ways we don’t know, we might not approve etc.
  • we may not be able to interact with our data in the way we want; we may not be able to run third-party apps on our data; or third-party apps would be “taxed” by the overlord into non-viability

What else? Perhaps the essence is that the big internet company has their way of making our data accessible to us, and we might prefer another, or more than one?

E.g. If I wanted to track my exercise and weight on fitbit.com, my foods on some other site, my sleep patterns with MotionX, generate a custom health score and do a competition on health improvement with my relatives in private. This kind of thing would be hard to do with a feudal model. (Admittedly a contrived example, but this kind of thing?) Same if I wanted to connect my thermostat, my doorbell, my webcam etc. from multiple vendors into just the “right” system for my house?