writes "I've been thinking a lot about how much information I give to technology companies like Google and Facebook and how I'm not super comfortable with what I even dimly know about how they're handling and selling it. Is it time for major companies like this that offer arguably utility-like services for free in exchange for info to start giving customers a choice about how to "pay" for their service? I'd much rather pony up a monthly fee to access all the Google services I use, for example, and be assured that no tracking or selling of my information is going on. I'm not aware of how much money these companies might make from selling data about a particular individual, but could it possibly be more than the $20 or $30 a month I'd happily fork over to know that my privacy is a little more secure? Is this a pipe dream or are there other people who would happily pay for their private use of these services? What kinds of costs or problems could be involved with companies implementing this type of dual business model?"