The word to use might be blithe or glib.
Or more likely, foolhardy given that so few of us know anything about what we are agreeing to when we accept cookies.
It is drummed into us as kids never to accept sweets (candy) from strangers and yet we happily accept cookies offered to us by the new masters of the universe.
I click ‘accept’ without a clue what I am agreeing to so that I can access a website for something I need to understand or to make a purchase.
Because in this digital age it’s all about data and we have no idea how valuable our details are and just what we are giving up.
And it’s not just the websites either. Actual shops (stores) are harvesting data too.
“Would you like your receipt by email?”
“Can I interest you in our loyalty card?”
Questions we can refuse but this is not an option with the cookies that guard the internet. Cookies are the equivalent to a high street store being guarded by staff with questionnaires which must be completed before we can get in and have a mooch.
We all have glimpses into what we giving up. Adverts cropping up on our devices in line with our recent conversations, making us wonder just who is listening to us and how.
Anything ‘smart’ is the answer. Even our fridges are smart nowadays. Who knew? I’m sticking with my old school ‘keeps the milk cold’ and nothing more refrigerator.
I don’t have an ‘Alexa’ either. I already live with a woman who is more capable than me thank you very much.
Who in their right mind would trust Alexa? A device with ears, connected to the internet and owned by Jeff, the world’s richest man.
Not in his wildest dreams could Mr Bezos believe he could acquire such access to our homes and our private conversations and at a time when we can be literally cancelled for a mis-speak with the click of a mouse – the modern equivalent to the Roman emperor’s disapproving thumb.
And as everything migrates online, the more vulnerable we become which is hastened by the abandonment of cash for digital money and the accompanying data it requires and provides.
Like the terms and conditions, we casually click online…
Pages of legalese, in a font too small to read without hurting and in opaque language impossible to comprehend. So, we just trust these corporations and their lawyers, and we sign away.
But at what cost and just what are we agreeing to? God only knows…
I suggest just a handful of people within a new type of company. Conglomerates wealthier than nations and more powerful than any governments of their day.
Bill, Mark, Elon, Tim, Jeff… these men are the new Pharaohs, only richer and more powerful.
But none of this is revelatory. You know this already, right? We have ceded power to these outfits because they make our lives so much easier.
This week I received a frantic phone call from the lady who heads up my IT dept. Apparently, my website has disappeared.
Dominicholland.co.uk through which I speak to the world and sell my wares has evaporated. It has expired and I have ceased to exist unless I can answer a series of questions from the CIO of Dominic Holland Inc.
Questions such as,
Who hosts your site and from whom did you buy your domain from?
“Who owns Dominic Holland?”
‘Er, my parents!’
‘They gave me my name… hang on, I’ll call my mum, she’ll know…’
So, for now at least, my website with decades of blogs remains lost to me.
Lucky then that I thought to establish this books website, where you are now. A little dusty being disregarded for so long but about to get some love as the new home of this mighty and important weekly blog and especially so with the new Takes on Life (Vol.1 is FREE today and tomorrow btw) and a podcast which is about to change the world…
Cookies in the US. Biscuits in the UK and elsewhere. But whatever we call them, we know that they are bad for our health. Foods we need to eat in moderation to avoid harm and this applies even more so the website variety also.
You can watch me reading this blog on my YouTube channel – one piece of IT I vaguely understand!
As the adage goes,
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em