After all, we live on a planet of capitalists– that means everyone wants your money, and many of those who stalk you online don’t care much about your privacy. They take it and sell it to the highest bidder, your concerns and needs and privacy be damned. Sad!
Let me back up a few decades to the pre-interwebs era, back when over-the-air television was free (and with crummy quality to match the price), where cable TV improved quality for a monthly price, where television stations and radio stations and newspapers and magazines made a living via advertising and subscriptions, and a telephone line was less than $20 a month.
Yes, the good old days. Yesteryear.
What do we have today? Let me call it inflation. Telecommunications inflation. I pay T-Mobile about $75 a month for the privilege of using 6GB of data and as many text messages and phone calls as I want. I pay Apple another $60 for the iPhone Upgrade Program, $15 a month for Apple Music, another $130 a month for cable TV, and that’s not to mention other subscription services for Hulu, Netflix, et al.
You see where this is going, right?
Simply put, I’m paying through the nose so major technology companies, advertisers, and media content companies can spy on me by pilfering information about me and my life and then use that information to sell everything and anything to me in a constant barrage of messages which are packaged based upon my online dossier. Don’t think for a moment that Google, Facebook, and the feds running the good old U.S. of A. do not already have a dossier on you.
What about Apple?
Dossier? Or, customer? There is a difference. Thanks to a heady mix of Facebook tracking and scandals, Google’s massive and pervasive online tracking mechanism, and the fact that everyone is out to get you and your money, is it any wonder that the discriminating among online dwellers are looking for a respite, a port in the digital storm?
What does Apple do to provide a respite from the weariness of being tracked or stalked incessantly?
Not enough. I want more.
Yes, Apple has trimmed Google and Facebook’s sails in Safari with a handful of tracker blocker techniques; at least, enough of them so the online advertising community wails to high heaven about it.
Not enough. I want more.
As much as Google and Facebook and advertisers lament ad blockers and tracker blockers in browsers these days, it isn’t as if they have been blocked from collecting data, buying data, filtering data, or mixing and matching personal data to enhance that ever-present dossier they use to manipulate our thinking and influence our purchasing.
Apple can do more. Apple must do more. Online privacy has become a user expense and that means a revenue and profit stream for someone who figures out a better way.
Where is Apple’s iCloud VPN (virtual private network) to protect customers willing to pay a little more? As it is, a few hundred VPNs run roughshod over the interwebs and it remains difficult to know which are worthy of my money and which are not.
Apple could fix that with iCloud VPN; a trusted source– for a monthly price tag– to traverse the interwebs with less stalking and tracking.
Apple could fix both iOS and macOS so tracking is blocked entirely. One button in Settings or System Preferences to prevent all such background and foreground tracking, Little Snitch style, would do the trick. One button, Apple. How difficult can that be?
That brings me to the price of privacy. I pay to go online. I pay the cable TV company and the cellphone company. I pay Apple for high end products to make the online experience palatable. I pay Google and Facebook with my information, which then is used against me to manipulate my thinking and influence my purchases. I pay for a virtual private network to help reduce those who track me online. I even pay for a few ad blockers and tracker blockers for iPhone and iPad for the same reason.
I’m doing all the paying while Apple, Google, Facebook, and internet service providers— not to mention VPN app developers— are making all the money. What it costs me to remain an online netizen continues to increase in price.
What’s wrong with this picture? Privacy has a price. And it’s growing.