I am a tech enthusiast myself, and I follow online privacy-related news closely.
In today's time, where software and mobile applications are becoming a precious commodity and people are becoming more and more reliant on the digital lifestyle it has become more and more important for us to know that there are many options available to us than the market wants to make us believe.
It is said that the data is the new oil and the human beings are the product. This statement is true, as it is said that if a product or a service is for free in the world of computers, chances are that you are the product. That is why more and more companies are trying to get as many people on to their services for free.
The data that we generate using these services and software are being collected to serve us more relevant ads, specifically tailored for us as individuals.
But there is a small faction of developers that believe that digital privacy is a human right and needs to be taken seriously. These people have come up with software that is readily available for personal and professional use and doesn’t track or sell your data. The icing on the cake is that their code is also readily available for people to look and tinker to as they see fit. This type of software is called open-source software.
What Is Open-Source Software?
As mentioned above, open-source software is software whose code is also readily available for people to look and tinker to as they see fit. Their source code is available under an open-source license. In this, the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.
These kinds of software are usually written by a single person or in a collaborative effort and there is hardly any involvement of the corporate giants. Though these companies can choose to make some of their once proprietary code public under this license.
Pricing and Benefit of Open-Source Software
First of all, knowing that you have more options is the war half won. Knowing the fact that there is no need to only use proprietary software for the sake of convenience and trading your valuable data in return is not the only option and people can opt for software that is much more privacy-respecting and free to use is a big win in itself as it is creating the awareness of something that most people don't know about.
The biggest advantage of open-source software is that they are mostly free and do not collect your data. Though it is recommended to pay in the form of donation as you tend to support the project and the developer/developers behind your favorite software. Another very obvious reason for you to support these people is that this keeps the longevity of the software, enabling you to get timely updates and security patches if required.
This is one of the ways developers fund their projects, this is because due to the very nature and the licensing of these software, investors don't find them fascinating as there is nothing for them in return in terms of monetary gain. But then it is also a better way of funding yourself as it gives the developers the freedom to put their talents to good use and on the projects that are in more demand by the public. This enables both the creator of the software and the people towards whom it is catered to and not on unnecessary updates to help corporates make more money.
The very nature of these open licenses enables and gives power to both the parties and their payment structure is also not usually based on subscriptions as there is always an option for someone else to use that same code and make it for free or the way they please. That is why it is recommended to pay for your favorite projects and support them as their software might hugely help you but in reality, there is very little for them. The payment is based on your liking, it can start from $0 and there onwards, the sky is the limit.
Why Does It Matter?
It is important to have control of your digital life just the way you want to have control of either your house or a car. And the open-source movement allows us to do so. No one would like to have a house that is always open to whoever wants to use it. The simple question being that, would you like it if someone you don't know uses your washroom or your bedroom or your jewels? its the same way that your digital life shouldn't be the property of others, it belongs to you because you created it and should be your responsibility to protect it as well.
These software do not send any type of telemetry to any company or an advertising agency and even if they need any type of telemetry, they ask you for permission and do not hamper the functioning of the application just to get their way through, like most of the corporate softwares. At the end of the day, the choice is in your hands.
Digital privacy is one of the major reasons that these softwares should be supported more and more and what's better than the one which is fully functional and better performing and free to pay basis.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
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