Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
I have just listened to a few terrifying snippets of a report on how modern technology is creating a 'Big Brother' environment that even George Orwell would not have believed we would sign up to.
Do you have, or have you ever played the game, 'Angry Birds' on your phone? I have played it on someone else's smart-phone - years ago - and I thought it seemed very amusing, innocent and charming, but I never read the small-print that goes with the agreement to download it.
A game for free? Where's the catch? Hiding inside the game, that's where.
Like all the other free apps that everyone thoughtlessly sticks into the guts of their phones, Angry Birds is bristling with hidden technology that automatically sends your retail preferences and habits to subscribing businesses, and when you thoughtlessly tick the 'agree' box when downloading most of these things, you are also often unwittingly allowing them to even access your email account so you can be sent advertisements by the subscribers who paid for your free app.
This is just games and apps alone - the amount of personal information knowingly sent out by subscribers to Facebook makes me cringe with apprehension for the future. Most of the apps which conveniently tell you the nearest location of your favourite hamburger vendor, also tell the vendor where you are when you look for it - as well as your preferences with regard to cheese, fries, etc. Many of them will even give out information about your post-code, and there is a lot of information regarding your financial status contained within those few letters and numbers - most of it inaccurate, but sold as valuable information nevertheless.
I am holding out as long as possible with using a simple phone which does nothing but make and receive calls and SMS messages offline, but I don't know how long that can last before I am forced to get a phone which is too clever for my own good.
It is already too late though, because even though this particular Google account is held under a false name, they know exactly how to find out my real one (they already have), simply because it is virtually impossible to run a computer and emails without giving it away, if you want to lead any kind of normal, non-paranoid life.
I think it is true to say that the U.K. is the most enthusiastic nation on earth when sleep-walking into the shadowy world of CCTV cameras and electronic surveillance. We also have the highest rate of bankers who earn over £1000,000 in bonuses for non performance-related activities - around 2000, compared to the next country down, Germany, at around 120. I wonder if there is a cultural connection?