Don't Be Evil : Where To Draw The __________



Google is evil. Ok, maybe they aren't. The issue of privacy or at least the perception of it is a truly hot topic of any and everyone who deals with technology on a daily basis. From Google, to Path, to SOPA everyone immediately gets extremely uncomfortable at the idea of having their privacy invaded in even the slightest form. Have we become to sensitive? It is not like we all have things we need to hide. I am not arguing here that there should not be any privacy, or the expectation of it. I am here simply asking a question. My question is simply this....whose responsibility is it?



Let's start with Path. I won't go deep in detail, but for those unaware, it was recently discovered that Path (an application for iOS) was collecting information without permission. Now there is a difference, subtle but important, in the fact that when an application asks if you want to find your friends within the app it is asking your permission to upload the exact same data and mine it. Path did this automatically without the users permission. That was wrong, but as for the other applications, who ask about your friends where does the responsibility lie? Do users know that, THAT is what is taking place? I know. I'm a bit of a nerd as I'm sure you are. Does the average consumer know? Does the mom that walks in and get's her 16 year old daughter a smartphone know? Does the 16 year old know? All she wants to do is find her friends. Should it be on the developer to say in the plainest for English (or Spanish, french, what have you) what is happening?



Let's look at Google. Google has come under scrutiny over many of it's privacy policies as of late. The most recent is the discovery that it....let's say side steps some of security of browsers (i.e. IE and safari) and takes a peek at cookies for the sake of advertising. Facebook has also been accused of doing this. There are two arguments. Whether or not Google and Facebook side step the blocked 3rd party settings or they respect those.....but peek at those unblocked by users who may or may not 'know' that the default may or may not be checked 'blocked according to the browser. I ask again....whose responsibility is it? Now if Google and Facebook are deliberately side stepping the blocked browsers, again, that is wrong. If they are peeking at the ones that are unblocked.....right? Maybe? Does the average user know how and why that specific box should be checked if they value a little more privacy? Is it on Microsoft, Google, Apple, Mozilla to make it clear on the most rudimentary level how and why they have to check it if they so choose to have more privacy?



At what point is it the companies responsibility? Is it ours? Do we need to take a bit more responsibility in understanding how these technologies actually work? Why they work? Or Fail? In the case of something like the Senators who'd scream out "I'm not a nerd" arguing for SOPA, YES. YES THEY SHOULD. THEY are not allowed to be ignorant about that laws they are peddling. To argue what they are arguing for yes. BUT, the average consumer is not a senator. Not a 'nerd' either apparently. Do they need to be? Does everyone who buys a iPad, Android, and eventually, Windows 8 tablet NEED TO KNOW the ins and outs and the applications? Pixel Density? Arm? Intel? The browsers? How Cookies work? That I do not know. I know. I LIKE to know. I'm a little weird. But THAT is the question that needs to be answered. Where do we (the companies and US) draw the line? The problem is the line drawing. Where do we draw it? Well my follow Vergians? Where do we draw it? Here? ________

Over Here? ______ There? _____________

Where do I put this thing? (________________)

Sound Off.