Register hack Andrew Orlowski is famed for talking rubbish and hating Google. In this piece, he combines the two with rare skill.
The highlight is:
This is the classic libertarian argument that shoppers need not use it if they so wish, or as we call it here, “The Shrug”. But this fatalistic line of argument vacates any moral responsibility, throwing it instead onto the “market”, which can be relied on to deliver the best of all possible worlds, as we all know. A more honest answer would be simply to profess not to care about privacy.
Yup, allowing people to exchange their privacy for Free Stuff is very nearly the same as not believing people should have privacy at all… just as allowing people to sell their property is almost the same as communism.
There *are* serious concerns about the unauthorised invasion of privacy (mostly from governments and their corporate contractors, rather than free-market corporations) associated with IT. But to equate these with what is effectively the consensual sale of personal information is as incorrect as equating Ron Jeremy movies with child porn, personal cannabis use with spiking people’s drinks, or prostitution with slavery.
(& I know plenty of stupid people do make those arguments about those topics. I think Mr Orlowski would be offended to be associated with them, however…)