Big tech tries to cover its ass

By Lindsay Slogrove Time of article published Jan 16, 2021

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THE Orange One in the White House incited an invasion of the Capitol last week, and which left five people dead.

Big tech, from Twitter to Facebook to Twitter to Amazon to Google and the rest, all of which played a part in the right-wing riots, moved to hastily cover its ass and institute shut downs and bans.

Without his Twitter lifeline, people wondered how he was going to fire people, incite more riots, tell more lies, fan more conspiracy theories or start a war.

Saffers on WhatsApp were advised about a new policy on its data-sharing policy with its owner, Facebook, which sparked an angry exodus from its platform.

But really, who in today’s digital world still has expectations of privacy? Since the advent of smartphones, noone has had real privacy, in spite of promises made. Your information may not be being tweeted or Facebooked live, but do a Google search for something and sure as hell all your ad-supported apps will show you ads for what you searched for.

In advance, I’m crediting the person who wrote this exchange about ordering a pizza in 2021, but I don’t know who it was because it was shared on a WhatsApp group.

YOU: Is this Pizza Delight?

BIG TECH (BT: No sir, it's BT Pizza.

YOU: I must have dialled a wrong number. Sorry.

BT: No Sir, BT bought Pizza Delight last month.

YOU: Okay. I would like to order a pizza.

BT: Do you want your usual, Sir?

YOU: My usual? You know me?

BT: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.

YOU: Okay! That’s what I want ...

BT: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?

YOU: What? I detest vegetables!

BT: Your cholesterol is not good, Sir.

YOU: How the hell do you know!

BT: Well, we cross-referenced your phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last seven years.

YOU: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.

BT: Excuse me Sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you purchased only a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at (name of pharmacy), four months ago.

YOU: I bought more from another drug store.

BT: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.

YOU: I paid in cash.

BT: But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.

YOU: I have other sources of cash.

BT: That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.

YOU: WHAT THE HELL!

BT: I'm sorry, Sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.

YOU: Enough already! I'm sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I'm going to an island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cellphone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.

BT: I understand Sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired six weeks ago.

The Independent on Saturday

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