Skip to main content

THE NSA, METADATA AND OVERSTOCK.COM

Quite a while ago, I bought a titanium ring from overstock.com. You can guess one of the unintended consequences. Everywhere I went on the interweb, ads from overstock.com popped up. I bought a ring once. I'll buy a ring again, won't I? Google will make it easy for me.

I don't live on the interweb but I shop and I communicate with friends there. I have, in other words, surrendered segments of my privacy for convenience sake. Harsh words but they are accurate. Google knows more about me than anyone except my wife and, to be honest, there are things that Google knows about me that my wife doesn't.

It won't be long before face recognition software will scan me when I enter a store. Coupons that are tailored to my shopping history will be sent to my phone. There will be no bothersome lines at cash registers. My phone will be the equivalent of an EZ Pass.  I'll just walk with my purchases past a certain line on the floor and my bank account will be debited on the spot.

The retailer will have me in his/her database. The wholesaler will. The manufacturer will. My bank will use my purchase for its own nefarious purposes. And so on...

I can avoid the interweb ads for titanium rings fairly easily. Ad blocking software has kept pace. But what do I do about the metadata? Go off the grid? That's much harder than it sounds. Cathey thought that she was a relative unknown until I searched her...on the interweb. To REALLY get off the grid you REALLY have to work hard. So what's the Risk/Benefit Analysis?

I've done no reporting. But when you think about it, what are the odds that I'm going to make just the right phone call or email to just the right address using just the right key words in just the right order to raise a flag? Pretty long odds, I would wager. One must take into account the odd security-cleared Peeping Tom who, in a moment of pure ennui, decides that my communications might make for an interesting diversion. But again, long odds.

Yes, I know. It's the principle of the thing. Slippery slope. Fascism.

Nah, I don't buy it. Our politicians are already bought and paid for. Being true fascists would be too much like work.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

GRACE SLICK, BREXIT AGAIN, SELF CHECKOUT, AND MORE: #18

    GRACE SLICK I just listened again to Volunteers , the last Jefferson Airplane album with the 'classic' lineup. 1969. Perfect. Sometimes sloppy. Sometimes over dramatic. But perfect. And Grace Slick. Grace. Slick. Perfect. BREXIT & CONSERVATISM Except for the 30% or so who've drunk the Kool-Aid, can we all agree that Brexit is not working out as advertised? And that the Republican Party in the USofA has sold its soul to a cadre of authoritarians who think they are the true small-d-democrats but who don't want everybody to have a vote and won't abide by a vote that they don't like? How did it happen that, in the name of political conservatism, two countries put into power incompetent leaders financed by greedy elites? And I just read that Michael Gove thinks that Liz Truss is toast because her agenda has been shredded. Whose agenda has been shredded more thoroughly than Gove’s and why would any thinking person be interested in his opinions except to liste