Silicon Valley Nerds Get Rich By Invading Your Privacy
Technology, in general, is such a great thing for so many reasons…it is pretty obvious. But it is NOT ALL GOOD.
We, the general public, love going to millions of different web sites, to research and be entertained. And it is mostly free…WHAT A GREAT F_ _ KING DEAL. But is it really free? Of course it is not. No money leaves our pockets so what is the real hidden price?
The Answer: Your Privacy.
I suppose a lot of people would say that it seems like a pretty fair trade-off. I go to my favorite news web site and get all this amazing, real time information. So what if I have to give them my email address or phone number or street address or twitter “handle” or whatever? To you, I suppose, since you are simply giving it away…it is worth nothing. To the Nerds…it is priceless. And they quietly laugh as you actually give it to them. You see they are fooling you and enjoying it…all the way to the bank…on your back.
Furthermore, suppose you go to a web site and proffer no personal information. You are cool…Right? No way they know who I am… Right? YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG. The nerds have found a way around that one too.To them…the beauty is that they are tracking you and you do not even know it. “CLUELESS PLEBEIANS…They do not even know how to spell algorithm let alone know what it actually does.”
Oh S_ _T. I did not know that but since they are tracking me I must be really special…so I guess it’s ok. Wrong again…they do NOT care who you are. They are just tracking your web surfing habits so that they can sell your “likes” to an online marketer. You may respond…..I know….but that is just the way it works …it sort of pisses me off but there is really nothing I can do about it. Plus, I mean…really, I do not care if the Nerd’s “algo’s” determine that I am more likely to buy Crest toothpaste than Colgate? It is so irrelevant to me.
And that may be true…but this is about so much more than the toothpaste you choose to use.
This is really about how ALL of your seemingly innocent keystrokes weave a comprehensive story about your personal desires…and how this data is exploited and monetized by the Nerds. Every keystroke is being measured, collated, analyzed and sold to the highest bidder. Think you are not being analyzed on your bank’s website or your brokerage website because of login/password protection? Think again. Ever wonder why, that after researching pricing on an airlines’ website, [and maybe even after “clearing” your cache and “cleaning up” your hard drive] that an advertisement for a rental car still shows up [at the destination airport you were researching but did NOT even book/buy] while you are looking at college football scores on ESPN? Because, on the internet virtually NOTHING is private.
The craziest thing about all of this is that most people are willing to donate their personal data to the algorithms…which automatically recycle that data back into hard dollars directly deposited into their bank accounts.Think about it…without your data they would be powerless. With your data they are powerful… at no real significant costs to them [other than not “having a life” for two years while they coded this “algo” in C++, at 3:00 am, while drinking a 12 pack of 16 ounce Monster Energy and not showering for 1 entire week]. And with YOUR data they can do just about anything they want with it…without telling you. Voila…your private data suddenly becomes their private data and there is no getting it back from them.
Not surprisingly, some of the biggest collectors of your personal data are social media sites i.e. Facebook..Instagram/LinkedIn/SnapChat [I mean NakedSelfies.com]. These companies encourage their users to share as much information, about themselves, as possible so that the “user experience” is maximized and optimized. What they really ought to be saying is “the more information you give us then the more money we can make by selling it to some other company who can “blast” you with unwanted electronic advertisements. In return you can use our REALLY NEAT social media platform for free.” That’s the deal…if you don’t like it then “pound sand”. And I’m sure plenty of people would be accepting of that precept… ..but they do not say that…at least not in an obviously transparent manner.
As an example LinkedIn [led to super-Nerd Reid Hoffman] has the audacity [really…it’s their business model] to “tap” into your email contacts without, in my opinion, clear disclosure [unless you consider “clear disclosure” as…buried in their horrifically lengthy user agreement that nobody ever reads because of it’s biblical duration]. I don’t recall them asking me if it was all right…I don’t recall seeing a “pop-up” window that effectively said “we are tapping into your contacts because how else would we do what we do”…they just did it. Why? Because they could. Why? Because they are Nerds. Why? Because of their algorithms. But, REALLY, because of the MONEY. And the “Nerds” now have a LOT of money.
And this is why DC, now, really cares about the Nerds…always stopping in Nerd Capital, USA for some “fundraising” [even though they are running for Congress in some other state]. You see… The Nerds have the Totally Killer Combo of both: campaign dollars + terabytes of private information about most of the American population. For a politician…that is the Holy Grail [other than a “hot” intern to answer their phones and have a cocktail with on Thursday nights while their wives play Bunko].
Tell me…have you noticed all of the government data requests of Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon, etc? You know why? That’s a rhetorical question and I’ll assume you know the answer.
To the Nerds these requests are just another opportunity to monetize at your “private” expense and they’ll surely sell despite their high profile dis-avowments designed by their “kick-ass” PR firms. Again…the details are probably hidden in the “never ever read”… “User Agreement” under the sub-section titled “National Security”.
To reiterate…”this is about so much more than the toothpaste you choose to use.”