December 04, 2018

By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc /

  • The Marriott hotel chain announced a massive breach of its databases.
  • It might’ve compromised sensitive personal info of hundreds of millions of guests.
  • Calling this a privacy problem is a misnomer though: it is a safety issue.
  • If your wallet is stolen on the subway it is not actually a privacy breach, or is it?
  • Facebook, on another note, is confronting a serious snafu of global proportions allegedly involving, among other things, the direct influence of a foreign power’s intel apparatus on a US presidential election.
  • What bugs me about the Facebook scandal is that it is based on the premise that we are all dimwits.
  • I’m not necessarily defending the Zuckerberg meme machine.
  • However, we cannot blame the big F for our very own tendency to overshare with reckless abandon and believe in absurd conspiracy theories.
  • More so, we cannot blame Zuck for our unconscious and not so unconscious racism, sexism and other isms.
  • Social media simply amplifies human traits.
  • BTW, younger generations, to the chagrin of some old curmudgeons, are more than willing to relinquish their so-called privacy in exchange for free social media, free search, free cloud services, free voice & video calls, free online storage, free music, free video uploads, etc.
  • Never mind the surveillance state as long as my entitlements are gratis.
  • Give me freebies or give me death.
  • “Privacy is needed to protect ourselves from abusive power and dysfunctional bureaucracies.”
  • Really?
  • Privacy, as far as I know, was born out of the so-called “right to be left alone”.
  • A tenet of Constitutional interpretation.
  • The right of not having to deal with unwanted meddlers in your life.
  • It is a two-way avenue though.
  • Privacy doesn’t mean anonymity.
  • Nor can it trump freedom of speech.
  • Political robocalls are annoying, yes.
  • Junk mail is a pain in the rear end.
  • Web banners, pop-ups and assorted roadblocks are irritating.
  • Freedom is messy and there’s not much we can do about it though.
  • Just so you know: ad blockers will never catch on.
  • With some honorable exceptions, the entire internet edifice is built on advertising.
  • The Silicon Valley powers that be rely way too heavily on said revenue.
  • They will never allow ad blocking to prosper, despite the odd posturing at industry gatherings.
  • It’s either ads or a paywall.
  • Only a select group of very few brands has rolled out a subscription-based model successfully.
  • Freeloading is here to stay.
  • To be continued next week.


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