Home » Reasonably true » A little private note

A little private note

Here we are on the internet, where we have freely given up almost any semblance of privacy, and not for some grand principle, but mere convenience. We chat blithely away on Facebook, buy whatever catches our fancy, and generally carry on without a care in the world. Our entire lives down to the length of our toenails can easily be stitched together, and private corporations own all this data, and freely pass it around to each other. We know this because when we spend 10 minutes looking at, say, nose warmers on Amazon, we’re inundated with advertising for them everywhere else we look online. We even start getting catalogs in the snail mail specializing in nose warmers. But, hey, it helps us get the best possible nose warmer, in a color we’re sure to like, so it’s worth it. Don’t protest, you know it’s true.

Of course, it makes us feel like idiots, so we complain bitterly on, you guessed it, the same forums that collect all this information and sell it in the first place. Just one more little useful piece of data to round out your online portrait. Why did you think it was free?

In a nutshell, there is enough of your data floating around in the ether to completely reconstruct another you, should the occasion arise. Oh, well, we’ve always pined for immortality.

Understandably, the government would like to have access to this information, too; who could resist? But that’s where we draw the line, by God! Let every entity on Earth have access to the minutest, most intimate detail of our blessed existence, but not the government, no sir.

Of course, we’re also outraged when they fail to detect a terrorist plot in time to do something about it.

Or when we eat our cake, and discover there’s none left.

7 thoughts on “A little private note

  1. Poor U.S. Government 😦 They know so little about us compared with those nasty big corporations. What about those government databases such as birth records, corporation records, court records, criminal records, death records, deeds and mortgages, divorce records, licenses, marriage records, missing persons, property records, recorded documents, registered offenders, unclaimed property, voter records, bankruptcy records, to name just a few?

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I also dislike the way corporations handle the information they collect from us. However, if you have the desire and are willing to spend the time and effort needed to protect your privacy, it is at least possible to limit the amount of information that the likes of Google and Amazon collect from us. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the information that the Government collects about us.

    • Indeed, and the corporations also have access to that government data, which is all the more powerful when added to the stuff they collect when you tweet your latest Spotify habits. The point is, we don’t limit access. Then we complain when the government gets it. I worry about “corporacracy,” when corporations are more powerful than government. That’s why, for example, I’m not impressed with Apple’s position on the recent court order that’s in the news. One way or another, corporations must be subservient to government, or we’re all screwed. I’m having fun imagining your response to that!

  2. Corporations are already more powerful than government. We saw that clearly when $750 billion of taxpayer’s money was meekly handed over to the banks following the 2008 financial crisis. Corporations will never be subservient to government because of money, revolving doors and the ability to capture and control the regulators. Corporations must have no incentive to capture government and the way to do that is to shrink the power of government and reduce or eliminate government regulation (not the same thing as eliminating regulation as explained here: https://malcolmscorner.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/roll-back-the-regulators/ ). I can imagine your response to that!

    • It’s just as you imagined: to say that the way to stop corporations from seizing government is to eviscerate it is like saying the best way to discourage a thief is to quit your job and live under a bridge. In short, to give in. I bet corporations would love that!

  3. Clearly we have different world views. On the question of government I share Mencken’s sentiments:

    “When a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.”

  4. They know us..and all our lies but then ..we know they know.and that they are really slow..because this huge mountain was information needs time to get through..they also get through and know about what who will do when and where..but…but..they are not interested to stop it..rather they are waiting for it to happen…I am just writing bla bla…just as I always do 🙂 feels good

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