The issue with software-defined products

30 years ago the idea of “using” instead of “owning” was all the rage as a way to move into a more ecological future. To have products used by many people would allow to offer its services with smaller ecological footprints. This in par became true for car sharing services today.

But the main use case of the idea of renting things instead of purchasing things has been perverted: Companies are producing more and more stuff that you have to purchase but then they behave as if you have only rented them. And they use the fineprint in the end-user license agreement to limit the ownership of the thing you think you own.

One way to do that is the software defined products: Companies over-provision the hardware just to be able to enable or disable functions remotely. The reverses the ecological idea: instead of light hardware the products are filled to the brim with stuff, that provides features that you MIGHT want to rent out after the purchase.

Also, these companies also often regard any sensor data of the hardware to be owned by them – and not by the customer. So even you toaster might collect data about how you use it. A toilet may collect data about how and when you poop. You think that is absurd?

Think again.

Look at what the car companies are doing with the »software defined vehicels«:

Here is Louis Rossmann calling out this practice… calling companies »rapists« as they use their customers data without their consent or using dark patterns to hide the consent in the end-user license agreements: