The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 06 February 2004]

We can see you

In yet more fallout from the Great Super Bowl Boobie Incident, TiVo subscribers are now becoming hip to the fact that their little TV best friends are constantly ratting out their viewing habits by transmitting everything that particular subscriber watches back to the mothership, where that information is, obviously, pure crack for TV marketers.

TiVo defends this practice by saying that the data is not in any way tied in to a particular subscriber, but is aggregated and used that way. According to the article, TiVo has always been upfront about the fact that it collects data, which is good.

So it seems that people did what they do best: Not read any of the terms of the contract they’re signing.

Here’s the news flash: Your TiVo watches you. If you have digital cable, your cable company logs what you watch. When you go online, every web site you hit logs your presence. Every email you send goes through a mail server where it can be read. Every phone call you make is logged. Every credit card transaction you make is logged. Every time you go to the mall or the gas station, your picture is taken. Every time you check a book out from the library, it is logged.

Unless you go through extraordinary measures, you essentially have no privacy. Unless you vote with your dollar by only doing business with companies that have strong privacy statements and actually live up to them, this will not change. If anything, your privacy will erode more and more every day.

Have a nice day!

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