Do you mind if Google, Apple, Facebook, Verizon take your conversations, your e-mails, your phone calls…and without your permission…calibrate the information about you AND SELL IT?
Already DOING it:
“If my emails to friends and family arguably constitute a potential threat to national security, that’s one thing. The massive monitoring and largely unapproved tapping into our data for profit is quite another.
Google, which, in the first half of 2012, took in more advertising dollars than all U.S. magazines and newspapers combined, has amassed an impressive list of privacy violations, notes the Huffington Post. Even the innocent-seeming Gmail service is used to collect and sell information; Google’s crew in Palo Alto may know more about the casual user than most of us suspect.
Even Apple, arguably the most iconic Silicon Valley firm, has been hauled in front of courts for alleged privacy violations. For its part, Consumer Reports recently detailed Facebook’s pervasive privacy breaches, including misuse of information as detailed as health conditions, details an insurer could use against you, when someone is going out of town (convenient for burglars), as well as information pertaining to everything from sexual orientation to religious and ethnic affiliation.
Despite ritual denials about such invasions of privacy, the new communications moguls have little reason to stop, and lots of financial reasons to continue. As for concerns over privacy, the new oligarchs take something of a blasé attitude. Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, in 2009 responded to concerns over privacy with this gem: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”Follow @TKC_US