consultants are sandburs

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chicken Little Notes Doomsday's falling sky: “Thousands of small businesses that make up the diversity of content and services online will be forced to close their doors,” said Randall Rothenberg, IAB's president. “This move will not put the interest of users first. Nor does it promote transparency or ‘move the web forward’ as Mozilla claims in its announcement."

Wow, a 20% market share player in the desktop browser market shifts to blocking third party cookies by default, and advertisers, never of course known to ever overstate a position, duly note the eminent destruction of Western Civilization as we know it. Similar to Republicans, in eschewing hyperbole, these advertising types - from whom we presume Karl Rove emerged by immaculate conception vs. the other explanation for Rove and who he is - are in a snit over constraints on their perceived right to annoy.

The issue is the do-not-track subpart of the privacy consideration - use of the internet being presently largely a surrender of privacy to corporate and government snoops [with Ron Paul advocates, (now calling themselves "Liberty Republicans"), having an interesting corporatism argument that the two are the same or at least overlapping in the way coins have two sides]. Surprisingly, during Clinton years and Bush years, individual privacy took a bipartisan hit - and now will the drones be watching your back yard someday, etc.?

Links, here; linking to here (source of the headline quote), and to advertiser counterargument. Exploring links upon links from that start is left to the reader.

Evidon, the first link above, appears to be a pro-advertising advocate aiming to disarm those who might want sterner measures against privacy invasions by advertisers, and doing that via promoting their Ghostery browser addon/extension. Ghostery notes and curbs tracking cookies for anyone taking the time and effort to go that route (where installation or non-use of the Ghostery browser addon likely can itself be tracked). Indeed, the more uniquely you configure your browser for "security" and "privacy" and to eliminate nuisances such as flashing advertisements; the more you may be "fingerprinting" your internet traffic and making yourself traceable - take the test or only read the report.

There is a log raft of recent internet privacy postings on the web - and when you pursue the question your browsing in that direction likely will be tracked. In any event, a few logs in the raft are here, here, here (oh, my), here, here, here, and here. Last caveat, you read Crabgrass, it uses Google's Blogger for free posting, and "if the product is a free service then you likely are the product" being the adage, your accessing Crabgrass likely is traceable and being traced by some fee-for-service services, besides Google. However, since the bulk of Crabgrass readers are in the keep friends close and enemies closer category, accessing it alone is ambiguous and must be squared with your overall web fingerprints to determine who you are, what you might be convinced to purchase, and whether the government needs to worry about your ideas.

Here. Finally, there is the adage that if the internet had existed in the eighteenth century and was used by the founding fathers in planning their revolution, we'd be flying the Union Jack and singing God Save the Queen.

For now, the internet is not free, you have to pay monthly for the connection, so are you "the product" anyway? And if so, whose product? Do a web search about cell phone geo-tracking. Do you suppose mobsters leave their cell phones home when they go at night to bury the bodies; and do their automobile GPS units serve the FBI if the phones are left home? If you communicate with others, and there are easy communication monitoring steps, would you presume human nature among the powerful would trend toward voluntarily eschewing monitoring? As a matter of moral imperative? Good luck with that belief, if you hold it.

As a related thought experiment, try to imagine yourself in the position of one telling with pride to one's children, "It was me, I invented the robo-call." It would be like admitting to prostitution at the police station, vs. the confessional. Children facing an entire adult life of robo-call nuisance would wonder about ways and means of divorcing such a parent. A near certain bet -- Somewhere, someone is being reticent with his/her children about what they do and have done, for money.

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