‘If you’re not paranoid, you’re crazy,’ according to the “Atlantic Magazine” November lead article: Life in the Surveillance Society. Your mobile phone tracks your location, the camera in your computer can spy on you, what you view, buy, and write is tracked and determines what appears on your screen. Now those wonderful folks, who invented all this tracking, invented Ad Blockers. By Q2 2015, 14% of the US population uses Ad Blockers – 45,000,000 people. Last year’s class action lawsuit alleging that LinkedIn sold user’s private information without prior consent, influencing hiring decisions, was the tip of the privacy push back. Will Ad Blockers, that keep companies from profiting from tracking, stop it? A recent NYT study discovered that when one company cooks its books, its rivals often follow suit. But when companies faced lawsuits and bad press, no one followed. Leaving bad behavior unchecked can have a contagious effect. Ad Blockers could stop the contagion, at least long enough to consider privacy, freedom, and what we value.
November 4, 2015