I’ve just been prompted to update iTunes and have been asked to accept the new terms and conditions. Ok I thought, probably need to scan them to see what apple want me to sign away …
Then I scrolled to the bottom where it joyfully tells me this is page 1 of 34. Yes, 34 …
So, like every other page of terms and conditions I’ve ever read, I click “I agree” … Several times, knowing full well I have no idea what the say and have no intention of agreeing to them at all. Does our shrink wrapped licensed world really encourage such a blasé attitude to supposedly contractural arrangements? Yes, I’m afraid it does. And it will continue to do so whilst companies expect to produce terms and conditions designed to hide their intentions.
In fact I would suggest that apple deliberately present more pages than any one will read precisely knowing that they can say what they like.
It would be nice if a company was honest and presented sensible terms in a readable way so someone could honestly agree to them. In fact wouldn’t it be nice to have negotiable terms – so its not all or nothing, but actually a mutually beneficial arrangement, where you willingly, rather than grudgingly, give up data to benefit them in return for a benefit yourself.
Maybe one day we will see trusted brokering of personal data, but I suspect most will continue to ignore the control they could have over their data, and companies will continue to rely on deception, because that is what 34 pages of terms really is, to claim every thing from your content to your whereabouts to your social graph to your interest graph.
A free service Internet only seems possible whilst this one-way, parasitic relationship with our information exists. Sigh.
Well, we are now in the odd period where the media is bored hyping the build up to the Olympics – the torch relay, whilst being special to everyone it passes, has now become business as usual for the national news – but they don’t yet have any real sport stories to publish, so they are going through the “who can find the first major problem story” phase.
Hence, we are seeing “security shambles” stories, untrained border guards, and even armed responses closing motorways. Sometimes we manage to see a little common sense creeping in, but mostly fear, uncertainty and doubt reign supreme. Eventually, we will be able to adjust our society to cope with increasing security pressures and security thinking may become common place (link posted with tongue firmly in cheek), but for now, we all just muddle on.
So, with this background, this post is to report on the daftest Olympic disruption story I’ve seen so far.
London Metro: Toxic Caterpillars on the march – “Toxic caterpillars that could kill people with asthma are on the march, experts warn”. But wait, as if that wasn’t bad enough … “The caterpillars, whose toxic hairs are carried in the wind, have been found in west and south-east London. They could disrupt the Olympics by infesting trees near the Games, it is claimed.”
At least the BBC resisted mentioning the O word in their reporting – “Warning over rise in London’s toxic caterpillar population“.
So, maybe all Olympic guards being warned to look out for anyone carrying apples that have suspicious holes in them … Or maybe someone will just train homing pidgeons to drop them over Stratford.
That is infeasible I hear you cry? Well, insert your own favourite Olympic themed movie plot threat here instead 🙂
At least it might give the media something to report on until the sports events actually start.