“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer – you’re the product being sold.”
This adage has become a common saying in discussions of online privacy, particularly in relation to Facebook. I originally heard a version of it from Bruce Schneier in early 2010, but a later Metafilter post by Andrew Lewis is often cited as the source of this particular wording. It’s a pithy turn of phrase, making its point in a succinct and memorable way; I’ve even quoted it several times over the last few years.
But it’s wrong.