Joseph Cox, Motherboard:
The popular Edison email app, which is in the top 100 productivity apps on the Apple app store, scrapes users’ email inboxes and sells products based off that information to clients in the finance, travel, and e-Commerce sectors. The contents of Edison users’ inboxes are of particular interest to companies who can buy the data to make better investment decisions, according to a J.P. Morgan document obtained by Motherboard.
Edison responded in a Medium post titled A Reminder of How We Use Data and Protect Privacy:
To keep our Edison Mail app free, and to protect your privacy by rejecting an advertising-based business model, our company Edison Software, measures e-commerce through a technology that automatically recognizes commercial emails and extracts anonymous purchase information from them. Our technology is designed to ignore personal and work email, which does not help us measure market trends.
Edison puts privacy first in everything we do as a company and that includes making our users aware of how we use their data in our products.
If the product is free, you are the product.
Back in the ’70s, someone made this observation about television being free. Prescient.