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Flickr photo by by brionv

Flickr photo by by brionv

Recently, there was a post on the smart grid and the possibility of 'big brother' watching and controlling our energy use. Big brother may not be watching as much as we think. But a bunch of little brothers might be more dangerous.

The story for the New York Time Magazine shows how corporate America keeps tabs on all of us. So much so that, in one case, an angry father called his local Target to complain about the store sending his teenage daughter coupons and a flier congratulating her on her upcoming baby. The father then called back and apologized when he found out his teenage daughter was, indeed, pregnant. Target knew she was expecting before her father did. Facebook just went public on a valuation based on how much targeted information and how good the information can be use to market and manipulate us.

How much do we trust salesmen with this sort of power? If St. James is right that the love of money is the root of evil, how much trust do we give corporations who are built on a foundation of loving money? Do we trust Google to “do no evil” when they just revised with privacy policies to gather and retain more information about us? We might just start to see a tyranny of corporations and marketing emerging.

 

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4 Comments

  1. These corporations are doing us a big favor.

    Ever since the Epic of Gilgamesh humanity has searched for immortality, and now we’ve found it! After all, what is the essence of being human? The cells of your physical body replace themselves every seven years. No, it is your choices, your preferences, your clicks, so to speak, on that computer screen.

    Now, the essence of your humanity, your choices, will live forever in Google’s memory bank. Your preferences will never die. Long after you’re gone, Facebook will still know every one of your friends, that news article you read on June 5th, 2012, and that you preferred your coffee at Starbucks. Your memorial will contain every website you ever visited. Your loved ones will cherish every single like or dislike you clicked. Every stroke of your keypad and every switch of your fingers will be remembered forever.

    And when Facebook and Google die? I’m sure all that information will go to a responsible, caring party who will do no evil!

  2. Ernesto Tinajero

    Bruce,

    But will Facebook charge you for your recovering? Or will the auction you off the the highest bidder? Will it be cheaper to make a better you in Facebook when facebook starts to outsource your facebook.

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