I think this is an excellent discussion that we should have. In my mind, the driving force behind privacy exploitation is advertising. Almost any tech industry company with the majority of their revenue from advertising gets in trouble over their data collection policy. Contrast that with a company like Apple, who makes 75% of their revenue on hardware. They stand in pretty stark contrast to Google and Facebook. In general, from my understanding, they don't send any data from their devices to their servers, and in specific cases when the user has authorized it they strip the data of any PII and information that would identify it to that device, encrypt it, send it to a server, then hold it in aggregate.
My takeaway has been to distrust advertising-driven business models as they are inherently in conflict with privacy.
I didn't see this reply before I wrote my first post here. But absolutely. Companies have to make money to exist. And it is pretty obvious what you can expect from a company simply by looking at it's business structure. ANYTHING that is free up front and paid for by advertising will ultimately suck. Either via invasion of privacy to sell to advertisers or via inundation of ads. Both suck. And often those companies (will have to) resort to both (looking at you facebook).
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.