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April 13, 2017

ZOMG! Political Panic Over Your Data

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Recently, someone on the Internet wrote that Donald Trump could cure cancer and you’d still have people out protesting about it. The problem with our politically-charged environment is that people take their orders from the media or from political parties before they stop to think. As a case in point, the Trump administration repealed a recent rule made by the Obama administration regarding Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The rule change was only a few months old, so it’s not like civilization was built upon this order and will collapse at its repeal. That modicum of common sense doesn’t stop people from going overboard on their opinions.

The bottom line is this: Congress repealed a rule the prevents ISPs from gathering and sharing your online information.

I call this the “Google Rule,” because Google benefited tremendously by throttling back the information that ISPs could collect. It’s not coincidence that hundreds of former Google employees worked in the Obama Administration.

The outrage is silly, of course. That’s because there is no privacy on the Internet. It’s a joke. People are inflamed because they believe their data now be scrutinized and sold by their ISP when Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and every other online services have been doing that for years. The only thing different now is that ISPs can get in on the game.

Then again, the ISPs are at an extreme disadvantage. You see, when you surrender your privacy to Facebook, you give them the rights to use all your images, to mine your posts, and to track what you view and like. They create a marketing model based on that information and sell it to online advertisers, spammers, and so on. You voluntarily sign up for that “service” when you click the AGREE button to create your Facebook account. Remember: When you use something “for free,” it’s you who is being sold.

An ISP is at a disadvantage because they’d have to mine all that information directly. Further, they’d need to coordinate your IP address with your web browsing and scan your email. That’s a lot of work. Google collects that information automatically when you sign into your Gmail account and use Google to browse the web. You just hand it to them! So Google is still at an advantage, they just don’t have the monopoly (more-or-less) that they did before.

Should you be upset?

No! Your privacy (if there is such a thing) evaporated the second you signed up for Internet service. The outrage over this decision has more to do with the election fallout, and the constant outrage at Republicans and Donald Trump, than it does any threat to you, your privacy, or whatever it is you do online.

If privacy is important to you, then stop using the Internet. Especially, stop using Facebook. Seriously.

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