There is no such thing as a free lunch. Obviously, our private details are worth a lot of money to tech companies that thrive while charging nothing for their services and running massive operating costs.
We would feel safer if we actually had to pay for these services, and knew that the service provider realizes 100% of its turnover from their real customers’ fees.
Such a system could work in a world where not everyone has the financial means to pay for services. Actually, quite a few tech companies offer a choice between a free account with maybe less storage space, and paid accounts which come with all options. This system makes it possible for the less privileged to keep using their private apps.
Maybe this sounds unfair, “why would the poor get poorer services? Everyone should get the same quality, and for free.” We all know the implications of such business model.
A good example is ProtonMail, allegedly the most secure email service you can find. You can get a free account, with 500MB storage space, while paid accounts give you 5GB or more. As per the company’s statement, the system allows people such as dissidents, who may not have the financial means to pay for an account, to remain fully protected.