....and all that jazZ

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Just wrote this email to someone who was complaining about invasion of privacy. Its my twopence, but since I made the effort of wrting it in a email thought i'd post it. Its been on my mind for a while now.

Hey XYZ,
My cousin works for google and was waxing eloquent about how cool it is and
I commented that I hated the fact that my email was being read,, and he
retorted that no one was sitting there going through my personal stuff, it was
just a routine keyword search that gmail does. True or not is another debate
by itself, but as you pointed out its the general trend that the world is
moving towards, could you say its almost part of evolving ?

you can make a point and take a stance by stopping to use gmail. are u also
going to stop shopping online? Amazon tracks every purchase you make. Are u
going to stop using cell fones ? The fone company tracks every call you make
and there are probably people listening to your conversation ? Will you stop
talking ? You are profiled every time you go through customs and like it or
not that is also an invasion of privacy.

People complain a lot about invasion of privacy. But u see in this
hopelessly tech savvy world we have isolated humans soo much from each
other, that we have made this evil amost necessary. It starts off as part of the
state like defence and police, for only tracking wrongdoers, and then slowly seeps into every aspect of our
life, simply because money can be made off it. How and where do we say enough is enough ? In the not so tech savvy
world, say in a crowded community bonded place like India you have nosy
neighbours who keep track of every little thing you buy,do,and say. They
know accurately your dinner times and the time you like to have sex. It more
of a human need than anything else. Why else would reality TV sell ???

We are all, directly and indirectly, in one way or another endorsing this
intrusion. And have been for centuries and its irreversible. Unless we start
saying NO to a lot of things. But if I asked my boss why make a tuner to
support 4 TV broadcasts in the same house I would not get my next paycheck
!!! If we asked why do we need cableTV on a cell fone, a lot of people in
Qualcomm and TI won't get their paychecks. The answer is simply that we do
it because we can. We do it because we believe that a lot more good comes of
developing technology and so we just learn to live with the repercussions and
the rest.

Coming back to the original point that I started out to make :), XYZ,
Gmail is probably one of the least intrusive and offensive things around. Don't take such
things to heart :) Its way coooler than hotmail anyways :)



  • Kartik : Its all psychological !! You would not feel better , infact you would then say that I wish they didnt tell me and just went about their business while I went about mine !

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 08:25 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

  • Shwets : No not becky :) But I guess I should have cced her as well. I remember talking to her about it as well.

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 08:26 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

  • :)

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 08:39 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

  • Sorry to break the ice Akshaya... Ragini - hehehe.. It turned out to be rather ironical; behold the power of unnoticeable web counters on most blog sites :-)

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 11:26 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

  • Bhaskar : Like I said, we are caught in the web we spun, and there is no way out.

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 13:29 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:51 PM  

  • I think that given that privacy isn't yours to keep anymore (in large parts), you should have the right to information too. If someone is looking at my e-mails/bank transactions, I'd better know about it. Of course, that too is not going to happen. I think I had seen some link some place where you could enter a name and find details on the person. I put my name in and my address/phone no. were printed out accurately to the T. Scary, yes .. controllable, No.

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 13:34 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:51 PM  

  • Yup, one of the major culprits is any telephone service provider like Verizon, Qwest etc. When you sign the horrendously long contract one of the services they offer is whether your number should appear on Yellow Pages. I believe, by default it is set to yes and no one actually bothers to read the fine print. Voila, you go to http://www.whitepages.com/ enter the first/last name and state of residence and it happily returns you the required information (at times partial information). I guess the information is broadcasted on all colored pages :-)

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 13:53 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:51 PM  

  • Bhaskar, Parth : Yes, the fone, its the human ip address :) !! Scary and offensive as it may be, I think we just have to learn to deal with it. Ignorance is Bliss !!! Something we are better off just not knowing.

    Originally @ Jun 09, 2005 16:38 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 PM  

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