I remember in the old days when Google shakily made the statement in big bold red letters that they would be gathering data for aggregation.
We were appalled but it didn't stop us. There was a functional search engine that offered useful information that we perceived we needed.
Now whenever you download ANY online software, browser, game update you are giving them permission to extract your actions, it can't be helped.
They don't offer you the option to PAY for the program so that your data won't be mined and they worked their tail off to provide you this new technological innovation. They have to get their compensation somehow.
I just looked at Yahoo's new Axil. Claims to have the neatest, greatest methodology for searching the web, yet this time they are not just saying we will get you stuff from the web.. this time they are putting out the whole desk top, in other words all your computer programs and usage.
We PAY for our usage and software, if not in dollars, in moments of our time gathered, collected, stored and mined.
So we have
1. Apple that controls hardware, software and information working to get all they can from the information of your usage.
2. Google that totally has the reigns on this extrapolating data thing.
3. Microsoft that updates when and whenever they find something else they wish to know and we blindly accept all updates.
4. Facebook and all the apps that use it to connect other systems with your information just caused you sign in.
5. Mobile phone apps....The list could go on...
I tried to be a good Doo-bee and read the documents they say I am accepting. No longer is there just one long boring legal-beagle document to scroll through, but now the documents have links to other documents that contain other bits and pieces of the supposed contract. In other words, to read these documents would take you 3 plus hours. Even if you did understand all the cross references, you couldn't pay for a legal fight and every possible spin of that document that their lawyers could contrive.
I usually stop when it says; We reserve the right to change this document at any time. Ok.. so not only do we have to try and read this horrible contrivance and all of its attachments, but we need to digest any new versions that can come up at any point in time! That would TOTALLY keep us from using time for anything else but reading updates on software usage contracts.
So Big Brother is with us now. It took a few more decades than 1984, but we are certainly there. The more we use the web, computers and software the more we are contributing to the knowledge base of the human genome. Is that good or bad?
Well it would be great if we were sure humankind was indeed benevolent, but time and time again it has proven to go to the lowest common denominator and become the base of greed & power.
Can we escape? Not really.. we are in computers with our drivers licenses, the sales receipts of our purchases, grocery store and gas cards all extract-able databases.
Maybe a huge solar flare? Electronic pulse that knocks out all technological devices? Good question: Could our technological society truly survive if we had to go back to basics? Here is where the 3rd world countries would have us totally beat.
So I wait and watch the future, looking for the signs... Will I someday make the decision to STOP using my beloved technology... Maybe.