A while back I wrote an article on what is seeming more and more like Orwell’s warnings coming true. For those new to my writings I also was very public in my distaste for the way LinkedIn’s® founder expressed his cavalier attitude about privacy concerns and equated anyone having a concern to being “old farts.” (those are my words not his) His attitude and words so ticked me off that I cancelled my relationship to the site. It’s not that I believe we can communicate and reach out across the ether in ways never assumed possible on the greatest correlating data machine ever created and not leave data behind that someone somewhere will find a way to exploit or sell. But there are things that if I am given a choice for that data to be collected or not and I choose for it NOT to be collected then all I’m asking is my wishes to be respected. If in truth there was never that option to begin with, then why is one offered? And when or if it’s violated the perpetrators or enablers respond as if “Oh well it is the Web after all.” That’s the part that sticks in my craw. If they can slice, dice, correlate, and spit out what they think I might want to buy or read at any given moment, then how in the world do they skip the absolute quantifiable expressed, checked off, countersigned, cookie enhanced, browser clearing, pop up disabling, browser disabling software, and the authorizing legal forms stating I can opt out provided by most and clearly stating, NO YOU CAN NOT TRACK ME AFTER I LEAVE YOUR SITE! (I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea)
Another case where this type of garbage is taking place is this week with Google’s® calamity affair that systematically bypassed Apple’s® mobile operating system within its Safari browser to collect data on the users. Data that the very reason users (like myself) use Safari to try to keep private. It’s a feature why one uses it! However Google is apologizing for the incident calling it a snafu. Apple is seemingly agreeing with them saying it was a glitch and doesn’t think it was a malicious intent to bypass the feature, but it still doesn’t pass the smell test for me. Please don’t try to explain to me that you changed and implemented the functionality on your software for the expressed purpose as to get around a feature in a competitor’s software. A feature that exists for the sole purpose to not allow your software access to the data you now say were only collecting as to help the users of your software better. Please, spare me!
Like I said earlier, I’m not so naive to think in today’s world that total privacy in all things on the web is possible. However, one thing I’m absolutely convinced of are the explanations being given why this breach was taking place sounds more like they think as the saying goes, “I was just born yesterday!”
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr