..according to a new analysis from Annalect, a digital data and analytics firm, two months of ongoing discussion about online privacy have actually had major impacts on consumer behavior. Online consumers, riled by political sentiments or not, are changing their privacy and tracking settings–and if the trend continues, the advertising industry could be dinged in a significant way.
Like I said here: this is a major game changer!
The future of pretty much all U.S.-based Internet, communications and technology companies could be severely threatened by this. Even if we still somewhat trust (as I do, in most cases) the leading U.S.-based international leaders in the internet, digital content, technology, social media, telecommunications, news and journalism sectors – such as Google / Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Cisco, Amazon, eBay, Apple, Microsoft /Skype, Verizon etc – we now clearly have a wicked problem and may soon be facing a real dilemma: these corporations are all subject to U.S. laws and regulations (as well as their actual interpretation by dozens of law enforcement agencies) which apparently are far more dangerous, un-checked and bottom-less than many of us have expected.
The fact that many U.S. authorities can just summon up a FISA order anytime and apparently obtain information – and with that I mean pretty much any and all meta-data and our personal data footprints, or even the content of these communications – of this magnitude, in this kind of depth, and in such blatant disregard of any need for real evidence or informed consent, and without any redress from anyone that may be its target, for whatever reason, is deeply disturbing.
In my opinion, if this practice (and Obama’s cavalier attitude to the key issues that PRISM represents) continues unchecked it we may ultimately need to come to the conclusion that we should stop using these companies’ services and platforms, altogether, if we live outside of the U.S. (and in countries where private data is still subject to some kind of public protection, such as here in Switzerland where I live). Just to add some context, this is what President Obama said when he was still just a Senator (found via TNW): “This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide […] I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom”
This could have grave consequences not only for us as Internet users but for the above listed companies and all others that are subject to U.S. laws. In other words, if America is indeed heading into what John Pilger in Counterpunch calls a “police state” (heavy words but apparently not unfounded) we would have no other option but to stop being a part of it. A strange twist, indeed: Snowden fled to Hong Kong (China:) while the U.S. approach to citizens’ rights and surveillance is starting to look a lot more like what is currently the standard in China!