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reply to SomeJoe7777
Re: And I care because..... ??? No no somejoe, you don't understand. Of course it's your prerogative. What I want to know is WHY people go to all that trouble. WHY do you care enough whether someone who's paid money to find out that you collect wristwatches, to go to significant effort to stop them from knowing that. Understand I'm actually curious what is the motivation here. I'm not trying to flame people.
I guess it's just "creepy". If someone else knows something about me that I didn't share with them, it creeps me out. It's like I'm being stalked or watched. I don't want to live life feeling like every corporation is constantly looking over my shoulder, observing my behavior.
I'll give you an example. Recently, I had a lot of savings built up in my bank account, so I logged on to my bank's web site and moved a rather large sum over to my investment bank so that I could put it into some investments. Within an hour of that transfer, I got calls from my bank, the investment bank, and one of my credit card companies asking about this transfer.
That gives me the heebie-jeebies. To me, these people have absolutely no right to know that I moved this money or why. Yet somehow, some alarms went off everywhere, and now 47 customer service agents all know what I'm doing with my money.
When it comes down to it, I personally believe that all humans are inherently evil. They will always attempt to take advantage of others for their own benefit. Having extra information available to them not only benefits this inherent attitude but incentivizes wrongdoing. Under a no-knowledge situation, hardly anyone would give any thought to stealing something from me, except now that they know exactly what's behind door number 1, they want to open it.
It's my God-given right to have secrets, and I object to companies that try everything they can to learn my secrets such that they can benefit from them. It's disrespectful and arrogant.
Interesting. I see this same feeling in a lot of my friends, especially women. They just seem to get creeped out when it becomes apparent to them that information about their buying (or in your case transacting) habits is informing companies in their approach to them.
I am curious *why* the bank/investment bank/credit card company called you. Was it fraud prevention, or sales?
You took the time to give a really clear description of your belief system, exactly what i was looking for. Thanks.
Personally I am of the school that believes that privacy is an illusion -- and that that's not a bad thing. You probably find my belief system just as alien as I find yours.
Before the industrial age (which is actually most of human history) there literally was no privacy. Every member of the tribe knew what every other member of the tribe was up to. And they accepted this as completely normal. In fact if people tried to hide things or keep secrets that was considered bad, and evidence that they were most likely doing bad things.
Somehow we've gotten around to the exact opposite... that privacy is some kind of basic human right, to the extent that (for example) multiple people who saw bizarre behavior in James Holmes in Colorado did nothing about it for fear of invading his privacy. And then he committed mass murder.
I totally agree that fraud and theft is a problem on the Internet. But I have seen zero examples of that being caused by tracking done by legitimate companies (as opposed to malware that is TRYING to steal your stuff).
To my way of thinking, the best defense against fraud is to simply check your accounts frequently (I do it daily) to see if anything unusual is happening. And of course take normal precautions against malware and data leakage, such as encryption, firewalls, virus protection, strong passwords, and access controls on your data in the cloud. Rather than trying to cover up and eliminate all the sources of information flowing out, simply make sure that none of them rebound to hurt you.
Well, I already do all the things you suggest to defend against fraud. I think we both agree that those things make sense to do.
However, I think we disagree as to what constitutes "theft," and on the concept of privacy. I don't at all believe that privacy is an illusion, it's a very real, tangible thing. It's just becoming harder to come by. And before the industrial age, I believe there was actually a lot MORE privacy, not less.
Suppose a male from tribe A is meeting a female from tribe B in the woods periodically. While it might take some effort to keep that a secret, it could be done. Back then, all you really had to do was make sure no one from your tribe or the other tribe saw you meet.
Today, you have GPS trackers in the car and the phone that you can't turn off, timestamps on your home security alarm, etc. You couldn't keep this type of meeting a secret even if you tried. All you can do is HOPE that some corporation doesn't go digging.
I think another part of the problem is that a lot of people tend to assume that where there's a secret, there's illegality, immorality, perversion, or some other impropriety. In the example above, what did you think that male/tribeA and female/tribeB were meeting in the woods for? Maybe they're doing exactly what you think. But maybe not. What if each tribe's leader has forbidden contact with the other tribe because of a 20-year old longstanding feud between the leaders, and the two people are meeting in secret so they don't find out? And all they're doing is trading cloth for rice?
Do you see how even completely legitimate things that violate no law and infringe no moral sometimes still need to be kept secret? I vehemently object to the notion that a secret implies guilt. IT DOES NOT.
And yes, I do believe that privacy is a God-given right. That concept was accepted by the founding fathers of the United States, and a protection against government infringement of that right is indirectly in our Constitution via the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendments.
By the way, my personal bank and investment bank called me solely for fraud prevention. The credit card company initially called me for fraud prevention, and then also offered me a cash back card. *SIGH*.
Did you ever read Orwell's 1984? If the rights and privacy of the people are stripped away, does it really matter if the perpetrator of that is the government or the corporations? Isn't the net effect the same? I find it extremely hypocritical that most conservatives are vehemently opposed to government influence and interference in people's lives, yet have no problem allowing corporations to do the same thing.