Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Brother Business, Part II

A little further elaboration on my last post...

I mentioned this earlier, but I want to go into a little more detail on the idea that surveillance IS still Big Brother even if it's privately owned. Sometimes, "It's a private company," is not an argument.

Apple and Google are the two worst when it comes to privacy in my opinion. Of course, I don't buy Apple products, but I do use Google products. For now, it is as simple as, "Use something else." What should raise a brow though, is that Apple and Google are the main trend setters of their given industries. Once they create successful models, everyone else copies them. Currently, you don't have to buy an iPhone or anything like it, but it won't be long before every phone available operates like an iPhone and you'll be getting text notifications every time you have to poop, even if you didn't know you had to. It's the same with Google.

Both republicans and libertarians are hung up on this idea of, "Well, it's a free market, if you don't like it don't use it," but that argument expires quickly. First of all, we're not even close to a free market. Second, let's take a journey of the imagination.

Imagine you're hungry and need to go to the grocery store. You get in your car, drive to the store, park, and walk through the door. You pick up a cart, or maybe a basket and head to the produce section. Before you pick up your first tomato, you've been photographed three times. It doesn't matter which store you're picturing. The cameras are there.

I'm not sure I'm even old enough to remember a time when I could go to a grocery store and not be under video surveillance, but I know that time existed not too distantly in the past. So, let's say Kroger was the first grocery store to use it. If you didn't it, you could shop at Publix. If Publix started to use it, you could shop at Piggly Wiggly. If Piggly Wiggly started using it, surely there was somewhere else you could still shop.

Fast forward to now. Can you even think of a grocery store that doesn't have video cameras? Yet no one says, "If you don't like being photographed, don't buy food," but somehow, that argument is deemed totally sane, logical, and understandable when it comes to technology.

Of course, I don't call for government intervention on these matters because I am pro-capitalism, and the only way to influence capitalism is to stop buying things or at least threaten not to buy them if companies don't serve you properly. Unfortunately, not serving you properly has come to be another standard insanity in our culture.

Again, when can you recall getting decent customer service from ANY large company? They don't have to give you good customer service because they know, for all practical purposes, you have to have them or someone just like them. They know the standard is in the toilet, so even if you make a big deal and do so rightfully, you're screaming into a black hole. We've all accepted this now. We didn't always, but because one company came up with the idea of evaluating phone operators based on their call times and every company followed suit, we have all decided that we know we're fucked if we need help with services that we "voluntarily" pay for. Sure, don't use WellsFargo, switch to Bank of America and then you look me in the eye and tell me with a straight face that you don't age just as many years every time you call customer service as you did with WellsFargo.

Americans have all gotten way too complacent thanks to things like the Rub My Balls app. We're too lazy to stand up and tell Google and Apple that we're not going to use their products if we're not satisfied. We can't even be bothered to forward an email to them. So, we let them parry away our privacy while we shrug our shoulders, deluding ourselves into thinking chronic customer dissatisfaction is okay by saying, "Oh well, it's a private business, they can do what they want, if you don't like it don't use it."

...until EVERY available products institutes the same rules...but hey, I guess you could just not use the internet.

...or a phone.

...or a bank.

...or a credit card.

...or a grocery store.

...etc. Pin It

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