Over the last days, I was trying to find out what actually is the net worth of users’ data on a standard googeled phone. Did not find a lot of precise figures - except for this one.
Nevertheless, if we want to have private phones, it will be necessary that we (the users) pay for the cost to keep our device(s) private and operational - development and maintenance have a price, although /e/ is doing a lot with the support of volunteers. Still there is a maintenance cost. This is something that so far has been discussed little in this forum.
Let me change the topic for a minute: Personally, I finally made the step replacing my Google email account that I have been using for almost 15 years to another, more privacy respecting one. On my way inquiring alternatives I found out there are a few (I consider) trustful ones. For GDPR-reasons I was only looking in Europe. Most of them charge a price at around 1€/month, that amounts to a fair 12€/year.
For that money I receive an email service that I trust and I contribute to create jobs within a meaningful business. Moreover, it was important to me to find a local provider, so I support a local business. Of course, it is just a tiny amount of 12€, but if there are more people following that example that will make a difference.
What I am wondering now: Could such a 1€-approach not be a path for a mobile phone OS. It feels like my whole neighborhood pays much higher amounts for the Netflixes of this world - every month.
1€/month for /e/? I do not know if 1€ is enough or too much. I am not sure if this should be compulsory to pay or to be kept on a donation base. But if (future) users understand that the maintenance of an operating system has a cost, that they are already covering (payment with data) but an alternative could be as cheap as 1€/month, that would help users to make a very simple consideration: Do I mind (and am I willing to pay for the provision and maintenance of an OS 1€/month? Or I do not care that my personal data is being collected.
By the way, my email provider works on a credit base: I have an account with them, where they take 1€ per month. The account can be charged via bank transfer, credit card, Paypal and soon Bitcoin. They are not asking for my real name (this is just an optional). If the credit has been all used up, the account is still reachable for arriving emails but I can access them only if I top-up credit. Seems to me a model easy to handle.
What do you think?