After years of badgering I have conceded to put some thoughts into the public domain, hesitant as a private individual wishing to contain the spread of my ‘Virtual Shadow’ on the public networks.
The fact is what we share will be irretrievable, replicated and horded according to the pernicious agenda’s of faceless corporations. Corporations many of whom lack respect for the common courtesy of consent as they harvest data, assuming a right through default or tacit value exchange behind the misnomer of ‘Free’ service, without considering the risk implications to the individual. Remember the old saying – ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ – how prophetic.
How can services reasonably be considered ‘free’ when there is cost in kind to the individual through a loss of control of personal data and divestiture of behavioural practices? The exchange is a qualified transaction in kind, and should be stated clearly as such, honourably FULLY classifying the consumer’s release of data privy to their interaction with the invidiously stated ‘free’ service.
The Corporate trend of hiding behind the skirts of Terms and Conditions or User Agreements is no defence to the accusation of sharp practice. So long and convoluted they do not constitute openness. By their very real intent they are incomprehensible to any but the most legally orientated. I contest that these could and should unilaterally be set-aside as divisive in their agenda, standing between and behind these is a hollow gesture, an immoral pretence at respecting and protecting consumer data. I contest that Corporations are in breach of the spirit behind data protection rules, as they kowtow to commercial agenda; void of any honourable defence of owner consent.
Our children cast their Virtual shadows across this online environment, their data shared in goodwill, and an innocent community spirit, data that is in return surreptitiously stored beyond its natural life span, used outwith its original context, raising exponentially the risk profile of the innocent to the real danger of data abuse and identty fraud if not theft itself.
In any other environment this would be classed as criminal. A crime undermining the healthy online social trust that currently exists; a crime that is quietly clawing this delicate fabric like a cancer, only becoming prominent when the host is beyond saving.
Hmm… I guess my blogging career has started …..