The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

June 24, 2013

Other Views: No online privacy

— Much has been made in recent weeks — and rightly so — about the government’s monitoring of phone calls and Internet connections.

Largely lost in the discussion of such data mining is this reality: The government’s activities pale in comparison to those of the tech giants who provide such services.

At least as described so far, the feds are focused on connections — who is talking to whom. The tech firms — Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and others — are interested in the content, which they slice and dice and use themselves and sell to others.

They know who you are, where you are, that your daughter wore a red bikini at the lake last weekend and that you’re considering buying a new car.

And they intend to use that knowledge to add to their wealth. At least the government’s purpose — again, at least as known to date — is the less selfish goal of preserving the public’s safety.

Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat who chairs a subcommittee on privacy issues, has said that the tech giants increasingly view their users less as customers and more as product.

Tech’s apologists say that’s overblown, that competition will keep them in line: If you don’t trust Google with your search results, you can use Bing or Yahoo. But the problem with that argument is that they’re all doing the same thing.

The Instagram dustup last December is worth keeping in mind. The photo-sharing site (owned by Facebook) laid claim to ownership of everything posted there, including the right to use photos in ads without compensation or even notification. It quickly retreated under a hail of protest — but its announcement made it clear that Instagram wasn’t surrendering for all time.

The tech giants expect our sense of privacy, and our demand that it be respected, to continue to erode. Indeed, they are banking on it.

 — The Mankato, Minn., Free Press

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Symptom of bad policy

    The Obama administration continues to be surprised and shocked when its policies of good intentions suddenly meet the hard reality of unintended consequences.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View; Makes no sense

    Chess was never my game. It’s too complicated.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Sports