Your Very Own Privacy Policy

Over at Future Tense (Slate), Irina Raicu wrote a great letter to Corporations. It begins:

Dear Corporation,

You have expressed an interest in collecting personal information about me. (This interest may have been expressed by implication, in case you were attempting to collect such data without notifying me first.) Since you have told me repeatedly that personalization is a great benefit, and that advertising, search results, news, and other services should be tailored to my individual needs and desires, I’ve decided that I should also have my own personalized, targeted privacy policy. Here it is.

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Google’s Policies, Target’s Pregnancy, and a Damned Lack of Transparency

These days, “big data” is all in the news. Generally speaking, the phrase “big data” is a marketing and hype placeholder for stores and streams of data that are unstructured (or minimally so: media, location, text, graphic, logs, et al.), of large volume (from within corporations as well as from mobile, tracking, and other devices), and constantly being generated (“real-time data,” flows of transactions, user uploads, newly created stats and analytics, etc.). The idea of big data represents The Internet + The Internet of Us + The Internet of Things–everything we can know, measure and analyze about what’s going on in the world. Continue reading

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The Way We See the World

Paloma Vazquez wrote How Language Influences The Way We View The World, reacting to a Wall Street Journal article Lost in Translation, on whether and how language influences culture. Both articles are fascinating reflections on how our words are shaped by–and shape–our world.

From my perspective, using a term like “consumer” sets a context and a meaning for our actions, describes our state of being, and limits our place in an economic hierarchy. While I find the term to be inaccurate and disrespectful, it’s also revealing. This is not the language of the world I want to support. We have many word choices; others offer greater potential and a more intriguing future.

Thanks to Jerry Michalski for the pointer to the article.

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