Dear Data Privacy: A funny thing happened on my way to the future
I realize I’ve been talking a lot about web privacy lately, and if you are new to this blog you might think that is all I write about. (Which it isn’t). It’s just that there are so many bad things going on that I’m concerned about and I feel obligated to raise awareness.
So anyhow, there I was reading another article about data privacy when I came across this quote:
“Lately, it seems that barely a day goes by when we don’t learn about a major Internet presence taking steps to further erode users’ privacy. The companies with access to our data are tracking us in ways that make Big Brother look like a sweet little baby sister.
“Typically when we hear an outcry about privacy violations, these perceived violations involve some apparently omnipotent corporation recording the websites we visit, the applications we download, the social networks we join, the mobile phones we carry, the text messages we send and receive, the places we go, the people we’re with, the things we like and dislike, and so on.
“How do they do this? By offering us free stuff to consume online and infrastructure for the online communities that tie us together. We gobble up their technologies, download their programs, use their services, and mindlessly click ‘I Agree’ to terms and conditions we haven’t bothered to read.”
Then there was this comment:
“It’s a cynical perspective that refers to all the glory of the Interwebs as simply free stuff to consume with mindless clicks.” Source
That got my blood boiling. Cynical! Is he kidding?
No sir. There is nothing cynical about it. The writer is referring to the fact that people don’t read or fully understand the terms and conditions they are clicking, and in so doing relinquish ownership and privacy for their own data and content.
Which is a fact. Social Media makes it fun to give it away. Weee!
Data mining is nothing new. Back in the 80s it was all the rage (and is making a big comeback thanks to Google+ and Facebook). But in those days the internet was still in it’s infancy, desktops were not connected to an always on web, and we weren’t being seduced by social media and the cloud.
Back then the web wasn’t nearly as dangerous as it is today.
With all due respect it’s easy (and a lot safer) to take the middle ground, but not when it comes to our privacy. That is inexcusable.
The bottom line is nothing is for free. There is always a price to pay.