Just A Game of Monopoly Thrones

Join or Die

A Game of Monopoly the Whole Country is Playing

Can you spot privacy’s Hidden Agenda?

It’s a violent game, but I knew what I was getting into. For a long time, I considered my options. I did extensive internet research. I wasn’t going to be fooled by promised of greater protection, and I would be exposed. This though I was going to be exposed only internally though, not externally. This time there would only be one master.

So, I did it. I bit the bullet and made the switch, finally getting out without ever telling my wife. My wife is an expert, and she never would have let me do it on my own. We still haven’t talked about.

I have a taste of her anger though. When she found out that I made the switch, she got angry. My daughter had told on me. They always do, I’m used to it. They seem to like that power of getting me in trouble. And it always worked for them since at least first grade.

In over twenty years at work, I had never received special recognition. I just did though. And for the first time I got a special bonus. It probably isn’t going to happen again though. So, no matter, I had to commit, carpe diem; I found the opening and headed out. I quickly closed the deal. And when I got back, I stashed it away secretly. I hid the new Mac M1 laptop.

I’m being all click-baity here only partly for fun. It’s not my style. But it reveals a mindset of secrecy that everyone has, the need to have one’s own plans or habits, a yearning that seems more pronounced in a relationship. My wife though is an IT expert, and one that doesn’t trust Macs. She started her career as a paid for intern fixing both Macs and PCs at an advertising agency and never wanted to touch them again. (She’s made a notable exception for her iPhone and iPad but I’m not going down that road.)

There is no secrecy on a computer or device. It tracks you. All the time. Despite Apple’s promise to protect your privacy, there is a lot of details in their fine print. Most of it obfuscates their obvious capitalist intentions.

Apple really wants to just protect your privacy for themselves.

And of course, my carrier, Verizon, doesn’t get talked about in the news. How do they protect my privacy? Or Comacast, my internet provider? I don’t know their fine print of promises about keeping my data private. They know my details and location and could always sell it off. I assume so, though I don’t know so. We don’t anything for sure, except that their servers are invisible and always humming and we live in the biggest capitalist society ever.

So I could at this point deduce Apple’s ‘new promise’ of privacy when I heard Tim Cook make it. But when Apple stood up bravely to the government and said they would not jail break a phone for the FBI, I’ve got to admit I first said wow, they are standing up to the government, how powerful they are.

At first, after the jailbreak incidence, I admit I was fooled a bit. But the truth later occurred to me when messing with their settings to ‘opt-in’ to being tracked. I could now opt out of all information from being handed over to third parties, websites, apps. But Apple would still collect it. Who’s to say they can’t sell it off?

As it turns out they are busy trying to build their advertising business, and the less you participate, the more concentrated your data is for Apple. The less everyone else knows because you want your privacy ‘protected’, the more Apple knows. The more they have and don’t give away for free, the more valuable their data is to advertisers.

Damned if you opt-in, damned if opt-out.

I’ve made my peace. I half opt in, half opt out. But growing indifferent as to who will win the war: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Verizon. I use them all. I’m come to terms now late in life with the fact that American capitalists will always advertise to me.

For now, I’m enjoying my new Mac Air, with their new Apple silicon M1 chip. It works fantastic, and now Apple have doesn’t have to share their core architecture with anyone.

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Bren Kelly

Bren Kelly

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Engaged in new Ideas and old Inequalities, putting the system back into systemic, born on the 50th Anniversary of Women's Lib Day, still seeking injustices.