Friday, June 15, 2012


By The New York Crank

Welcome to the new police state.

Advertising Age, an advertising trade newspaper, has revealed that back in 2010:
 “Microsoft sought to patent an advertising engine that gauges people's emotional states based on their search queries, emails, instant messages and use of online games, as well as facial expressions, speech patterns and body movements. The ad engine is device-agnostic; as Microsoft noted in its application, ‘client devices" could include personal digital assistants, smart phones, laptops, PCs and gaming devices.’” 
Wait a second, just wait a second! I have a problem with some of this. And its use as an “ad engine” is the least of it.

It’s not so much tracking search engine queries that sends chills up my spine. That’s old news. You go to look up, say, “navel lint” and some website pins a cookie to your hard drive. The next thing you know, you’re getting pop-up ads for belly button cleaners, lint tweezers, lint brushes, navel jewelry and pulled pork belly sandwiches at your neighborhood takeout joint. So big deal.

But e-mail? They can read your e-mail? Isn’t that qualitatively the same as illegally tapping somebody’s phone or stealing and reading somebody’s snail mail? And instead of saying to the person on the Microsoft staff who thought of this, “This kind of hacking is against the law and is legally and morally repugnant. You have a criminal mind and you’re fired,” .....Instead of that, they give the guy money and a team to develop the technology?

And then they start reading your facial expressions, presumably through that little chat lens on the top of your screen that you thought was there so that you could have face-to-face conversations with your mom in Mumbai or your pop in Peroria.

What’s the next step?

Well, if I can think of the next step, so can some errant cops, or political thugs, or crypto-fascists, or Mitt Romney. They can catch you frowning at the news that Scott Walker won in Wisconsin, or screaming at the computer screen whenever you catch Mitt lying through his teeth again.

And then they can check your e-mails to see if you were one of the people who’s writing to friends and acquaintances, urging them to vote Democratic.

And then they can come for you and take you away.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Cross-posted at The New York Crank


Greg Hao said...

Um, if you use gmail, this is already happening to you...

I don't disagree that it's bad (part of why I only use gmail for spam) but this shouldn't be shocking in 2012.

Or am I missing something here?

Victor said...

But not really surprising.

This is the modern corporation as Mommy, rifling through your room, figuring you've got to be hiding pot somewhere, and threatening to tell Dad.

These ASSHOLES ought to have all of their public and private utterances exposed for everyone to see, and find out how THEY like it!
And then put in stocks in public places, so people can ridicule them, and pelt them with rotten fruits and veggies, old baseballs, and a few tire-irons!!!

Oh yeah, before I forget - :-)
and ;-)

But what I really mean, is :'0 NO!

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
5 smiley faces has got to be enough cover for what I just wrote.

We're all feckin' doomed anyway...

Ten Bears said...

For some reason I'm just not as big a science fiction fan as I used to be.