We all have passwords to keep others from getting into our accounts – our banks, our insurance, our credit cards, and our social media accounts to name a few. And of course, there have been breaches over the years, either due to our own behaviors or to those of large and small corporations, and even the government.
These are serious and costly intrusions into our privacy, and they are clearly illegal.
But what about the legal intrusions that technology has brought about?
Tech and Our Daily Lives – So Efficient!
We all love the concept of shopping online and using technology for other conveniences:
- We look at products we might be interested in. Some of them we may order; others we do not.
- We make purchases from online retailers, big and small, including Amazon, and they are delivered to our doors.
- We can even try on clothes and glasses or furnish our rooms digitally while we are making choices.
- We can virtually visit vacation destinations before deciding where to go.
- Why, men can even meet mature women via online dating sites, and vice versa. Even our romantic lives are influenced by technology where we are matched up with others who share our interests and relationship goals.
- GPS on our phones takes us to our destinations – no more reading those pesky maps or writing down directions.
And we love the efficiency that all of this technology has brought.
But what else has it brought?
Tech Also Intrudes into Our Daily Lives – The Downside
All of your online behavior is being tracked and recorded. It’s done by this thing we call data science.
Suppose you make a purchase on Amazon. Immediately you are directed to other products, with the phrase, “Others who purchased this also purchased…” and you are given related items that might be of interest to you.
But that’s not all. Suppose you see an ad on Facebook for something that might interest you. You open that and are immediately directed to the website of a retailer selling the product. Ultimately, you choose not to buy the product.
Here’s what happens next. Not only that company but every other retailer that offers this type of product will immediately show up in your Facebook feed. Your feed becomes a marketing venue for retailers, not a venue where you connect with friends and followers. Every other post on your feed is now an ad. To eliminate those ads, you have to go through a process, and it’s irritating, to say the least.
And that’s not the only place where you will see these types of ads. Your Internet opening page will all of a sudden carry ads for products you have looked at. Your email account will display ads for these products on the side.
The bottom line is this: Wherever you go and whatever you do online is tracked and monitored. So, the price you pay for efficiency is a loss of privacy and the annoyance of “commercials” that you only saw on TV before all of this technology. At least you could mute them on the TV until your show came back on.
Efficiency Vs. Intrusion
Is there a middle ground here? Probably not. There are software packages you can buy to eliminate most of the advertising you face online, and, while you can’t eliminate the tracking, you can eliminate the ads that inevitably follow.
Your other option is to ignore the ads, don’t click on them, and eventually, they will fall off, only to be replaced by ads related to other products or services you have looked at. It’s the price we pay for access to world digital efficiency.