There was a great article in the Guardian last Thursday by Eben Moglen
I didn't see the article the previous Tuesday [which is the first part of this link] and the paper is now recycled.
The Thursday article starts below the picture of one of four server rooms at the Facebook data centre in North Carolina.
Edward Snowden has revealed problems for which we need solutions. The vast surveillance-industrial state that has grown up since 2001 could not have been constructed without government contractors and the data-mining industry.
In this context, we must remember that privacy is about our social environment, not about isolated transactions we individually make with others. When we decide to give away our personal information, we are also undermining the privacy of other people.
Many people take money from you by concealing this distinction. They offer you free email service, for example. In return, they want you to let them read all the mail. Their stated purpose is advertising to you. It's just a transaction between two parties. Or, they offer you free web hosting for your social communications, and then they watch everybody looking at everything.
This is convenient, for them, but fraudulent. If you accept this supposedly bilateral offer, to provide email service to you for free as long as it can all be read, then everybody who corresponds with you is subjected to this bargain. If your family contains somebody who receives mail at Gmail, then Google gets a copy of all correspondence in your family. If another member of your family receives mail at Yahoo, then Yahoo receives a copy of all the correspondence in your family as well.
The same will be true if you decide to live your social life on a website where the creep who runs it monitors every social interaction, keeping a copy of everything said, and also watching everybody watch everybody else. If you bring new "friends" to the service, you are attracting them to the creepy inspection, forcing them to undergo it with you.
If you have a Facebook account, Facebook is surveilling every single moment you spend there. Moreover, much more importantly, every web page you touch that has a Facebook "like" button on it which, whether you click the button or not, will report your reading of that page to Facebook.
If the newspaper you read every day has Facebook "like" buttons or similar services' buttons on those pages, then Facebook or the other service watches you read the newspaper: it knows which stories you read and how long you spent on them.
Every time you tweet a URL, Twitter is shortening the URL for you. But it is also arranging that anybody who clicks on that URL will be monitored by Twitter as they read. You are not only helping people know what's on the web, but also helping Twitter read over everybody's shoulder everything you recommend.
This isn't transactional, this is ecological. This is an environmental destruction of other people's freedom to read. Your activity is designed to help them find things they want to read. Twitter's activity is to disguise the surveillance of the resulting reading from everybody.
Commercial surveillance then attracts government attention, with two results that Snowden has documented for us: complicity and outright thievery.
The article is quite long so you probably won't bother to read it.
If you have a Google or Yahoo email account, use Twitter or Facebook are you happy with what they do with your data?