Two weeks ago I deleted my Facebook account. For two reasons, really.
One, I realized that Facebook made me shallow. It made me okay with not actually communicating. Photos of an old friend’s life served as a convenient substitute for making an effort to pick up the phone. There’s something subtly disgusting and ugly about the whole thing that eventually turned me off enough to close my account.
Secondly, there’s the privacy issues. Everywhere – every application storing some less-than-meaningful aspect of my social interactions with other human beings all eventually adding up to what is my life. All stored on some mega-data-center in Nevada. My data, my identity. Stored, manipulated, washed, dried, mixed, contorted, scanned, compacted, mined, and eventually archived – for purposes that can only be malicious – even if its down the road.
My Andriod smart-phone will not even allow me to permanently delete the Facebook application from my phone. It just stares at me constantly begging me to re-install it. To reinsert myself into the matrix. All in the name of a phony connection that ironically disconnects you.
Then today I started to install the linked-in application on my phone. For fun I decided to read the terms. These are a copy/paste from the terms (bold added by me):
This app has access to these permissions:– Your accounts– find accounts on the device– create accounts and set passwords– add or remove accounts– Network communication– receive data from Internet– full network access– view network connections– Your personal information– read calendar events plus confidential information– Phone calls– read phone status and identity– Storage– modify or delete the contents of your USB storage– Your social information– write call log– read your contacts– modify your contacts– read call log– System tools– test access to protected storage– send sticky broadcast– Affects Battery– control vibration– prevent device from sleeping– Sync Settings– read sync statistics– toggle sync on and off– read sync settings
(To read these terms yourself go to the Android app website and click “install”. The terms will appear in a new window.)
These terms are no different than that of Facebook or almost any other application. We are one click away from giving away our privacy completely. I certainly wouldn’t agree to these terms to anyone in person, but we are all too willing to provide corporations these details for a mediocre “Free” application. Kind of crazy.