geek mythology by rhodri marsden

24 Sep

london 2.01pm thursday

i first read his article in the newspaper and felt it rather a good article. about AVG , a free antivirus software, giving clear warning ( using mime in a utube, i would love to see that but cannot find it anywhere) that it will sell data collected from all those who use its free antivirus program.

i used to use AVG ( czech owned) in the past when i was using windows, and it is really a very good program. and of course i suspect it will use my data, and browsing history etc to gather information, even though i never bother to read all the terms and conditions, and i am ok with it.

now of course i dont use any antivirus because i use chrome instead. and i am aware that google will use my data and history for its own ends. and i am ok with it too.

 i think those of us who use free programs know that our data is used. and frankly i dont mind it at all. it seems to me a good trade off that i get to use their program for free and they get to gather all the users data and use it for whatever purpose they need.

the article mentioned a utube that AVG uses with mime to inform its users of the policy … i would love to see it haha but could not find it. (i can see it, now, the video is actually embedded in the article)

the article advises users not to use AVG, but never explains to my satisfaction why it is bad for them to collect these data about its users, or why it is bad for me to give them this data about my usage… what is so bad about it? if they say i will start getting lots of adverts that will interest me, i thought isn’t that good?

recently i had a good example of it. i opened a new contract with talktalk my broadband and phone provider, for £5 a month for their package.

then after that call and the set up of the contract, i got an advert bang in my face when i opened my chrome book, which tells me talk talk is giving away free broadband for 18months contract. i thought i have missed the boat, and actually said i wont bother to call them to change it.

but the next day which happened to be a monday, i again got that advert and  decided to call them anyway. i told the talktalk helpline about why i called, to ask them if i can have the broadband free instead; but when he tried to get someone from talk talk he found it was too early and they are not opened. and he asked me to leave my number and they will call me as soon as they open at 9am.  well, they called me right on time, and when i told them i saw their advert and ask if i can have that instead, i was told straight away i can and that what i thought the £5 i agreed to pay was for another product… an international call add on.

so what i am saying in a long winded way haha is that the special interest adverts did me a good turn. it drew my attention to the new offer and i was able to get myself onto it and save myself quite a bit of money. so i ask you, what is so bad about them finding out my interests and letting me know of stuff that i might be interested in? i dont consider that an invasion of privacy. or rather in this case it was to my advantage. it is a bit like a patient having their medical condition, for eg an allergy or something, being known and so be treated correctly… if fear of his privacy being invaded stopped that vital information being released to others, he might well end up the loser or dead. 

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