“When you track users both on your site and once they leave it, that accumulated data becomes very valuable indeed,” Pelz-Sharpe said. “Therefore, there is an argument that the services are not free at all, you pay through your loss of privacy. … We all know that when we join social networking platforms, we are giving up something in return. Few understand how much they are giving up or the extent to which they are tracked.” Pelz-Sharpe said that while the lawsuits may be too late to make the market more competitive, they may raise awareness among consumers and create increased calls from the public for big tech companies to change their business models. 

Innovation Award Winners 2023