We live in age where pretty much everything we do online is tracked in some fashion. Most sites use some form of analytics. Emails still use pixel tracking. Cookies are simply the norm. However, the giants of the Internet have had enough. In fact, eight of the mega companies have stood together to send a message to the US government, the NSA in particular. That message is simply . . . “Leave the Spying to Us”.
Ok, I’m joking – a little. They may not have said that directly, but they might as well have. Together, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Yahoo, AOL and Twitter signed a joint letter asking the US government to reign in their spying practices and restore a bit of our individual freedoms. And yes, as long as we’re not talking about guns or the 2nd Amendment, it looks like these companies still believe in some of our Constitutional rights.
The letter, as seen on the Reform Government Surveillance site (which oddly uses an IP over a URL), ilustrates the principles the undersigned companies hope to instill in the governments of the world. Those principles are:
- Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information
- Oversight and Accountability
- Transparency About Government Demands
- Respecting the Free Flow of Information
- Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments
Take a look at the open letter. It’s interesting, if nothing else. They speak about keeping user data secure, but fail to mention that they all snoop to their hearts’ content. Of course, we blindly allow them to snoop when we agree to their terms and conditions to use their products.
Maybe the governments of the world simply need to update their terms and conditions.