Technology, Philosophy, & Sometimes Both

Thoughts on the World by Jack Umano

Archive for April 2012

Another Privacy Policy and Terms Travesty

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Everyone knows that Ticketmaster has a virtual monopoly at many venues and they abuse it by overcharging for service fees.  It’s something we put up with.  So I guess it should be no surprise that they have jumped on the bandwagon of abusing the public by jamming policies and terms down our throats.

When ordering tickets online, each step of the way, you have a timer on the web page counting down the seconds that you have to put in your information.  You get 2.5 minutes or you’ll lose your tickets.  There is barely enough time to type in all your information and read the content on the page.  Then while you’re at it, you must agree to the ticketmaster privacy policy and terms of use .  These are very long legal documents that a lawyer should review for an hour.  But, you have to agree to this in your remaining 30 seconds or else these tickets will be lost to you and sold to someone else.

Don’t kid yourself.  You are signing legal documents that matter.  Here is an example:  By signing them, I have agreed in part 2 that I

“will not: Transmit any content or information that is … defamatory … or otherwise objectionable”

So merely by me writing this blog post, they could possibly sue me – saying this is defamatory and objectionable.

By agreeing to these, you are forced to waive rights that you would normally have in courts.  If you ever get caught by one of these from Ticketmaster or some other company, I would suggest contacting the Electronic Frontier Foundation as they work to defend people in high tech civil liberties cases.

Written by Jack Umano

April 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Philosophy, Technology

Opt Out doesn’t solve Privacy Problems

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I will never go to Walt Disney World again.  Nor Disneyland.

I’m always told, “If you don’t like the privacy invasion, you don’t have to use this service.”  This is true with search engines and social media sites that track every possible thing they can about you.  “You don’t HAVE to use Facebook. So, if their disregard for your privacy bugs you don’t use it.”

Opt out of using every online service that tracks you?  It’s as if the only three tire makers in the world decided to put GPS tracking devices in the tires.  Hey you can opt out by not using our tires.  Then what? – make your own?  Only bike and walk?

So, now I can’t go to Disney parks either.  They fingerprint everyone at the door thereby treating everyone like a criminal.  Of course, you don’t find this out until you are standing at the door with paid ticket in hand.  You may have bought the ticket, but you can’t come in unless they fingerprint you first.

You’ll hear tons about how you shouldn’t bother caring and that this battle is already lost.  That’s a myth perpetuated by the big companies who own (or are tied to) the big media companies.  “Don’t worry about it” – said the spider to the fly.

Okay. The big media companies are not going to eat you like a fly.  But, they certainly have no interest in protecting your privacy.  And if you’re still wondering why this is important, see my previous post on why privacy matters.

Written by Jack Umano

April 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Philosophy, Technology