The Good Old Days
Have you been signing your life away? Remember those Terms and Conditions that nobody ever read? You know, the ones that we always used to see when we were downloading an app or subscribing to something? Sure, you do! The ones we always scrolled down without fail, past all the terms and conditions. Gained access to whatever it was we were signing up for, and clicked the ‘I agree’ button without reading why.
We all used to laugh and imagine that, one day, a bunch of suits would turn up at our doors holding reams of documents stating that we agreed to sign over the deeds to our houses and generally be reminded that ‘Big Brother’ owns our body parts, our identities, and our lives. It was a funny joke, wasn’t it? Only, it’s not so funny these days. These days, we are already realising that the reality is much more insidious. It is potentially harmful in ways we are only just starting to discover.
The Desert of the Real
The reality is simply this. The data that divulges our habits have become so valuable to competing companies that they have found a way to get us to blindly agree to become the merchandise. The customer has become the product.
The Dangling Carrot
How? By offering us free convenient products that we are statistically unlikely to refuse in exchange for our information. ‘But I’m in control of my data’ I hear you say. ‘I’m protected by Data Protection laws and GDPR these days’, you may retort. Unfortunately, if you have been clicking the ‘I agree’ button, you have slowly been wavering this control. You are giving it to the companies behind those buttons.
See for Yourself
To get a true sense of this, you only need to try deleting your Facebook account permanently and experience how difficult it is to live without. Most of us are wise to it now but many are still scratching their heads when they Google search for a pair shoes and every advert on every social media platform they frequent is for shoe brands. Our privacy is under attack like never before so remember, always read the terms and conditions before you ‘agree’ to anything. If you are not paying for the product you are being offered, chances are, you ARE the product!