Friday, January 13, 2006


Quickly: Sony, Symantec, Apple - which type of evil do they all have in common? Answer: utter disrespect for their customers.

Because that's the only explanation for the lackadaisical attitude all of these otherwise reputable companies display when it comes to consumer privacy. And this is only the last few weeks' harvest.

After Sony's 'rootkit' humiliation followed by Symantec's admission it made the same type of mistake in its Norton SystemWorks software, you'd expect big brand companies would think twice before trampling all over their users' private hard disks again.

No Sir. Now it's Apple who's being caught red-handed while sneakily harvesting information from its unsuspecting users' PCs, and having iTunes send it surreptitiously not only to Apple's iTunes Music Store itself, but to a third party as well.

Sony, Norton, Apple, these are big brands. It's simply astonishing how their owners keep thinking they can get away with the most despiccable privacy violations without endangering their most precious assets: their brands, and their reputation. Here's the mantra: transparency and permission, transparency and permission, transparency and permission.

Repeat after me, Steve: 'I shall not hide in my consumers' closets and I shall not install secret listening devices that transmit their private information without their explicit permission'. Now does that sound so difficult?

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