Boy, is my face red. All this time I thought that black thing, the one that rings and vibrates and bleats, was a cellphone. It’s not, it’s an informant. A snitch, a fink, a canary. It’s been keeping tabs on every phone call and text message and internet search and website visit.
I’m not the only one under the microscope, either. 140 million other poor suckers who bought into smartphone and Android technology, are under round-the-clock surveillance. Not by the government (although some would disagree) or alien civilizations or mad scientists, but by wireless carriers with the aiding and abetting of phone manufacturers.
Now that they’ve been pantsed as voyeurs and liars they promise to stop bugging our phones. Really they will, scout’s honor. All except AT&T, who whines their customers were in on their nefarious activities and agreed to participate. I didn’t. Did you? Maybe that call got dropped.
At the very least, there’s been a deep and irreparable breach of trust here. Folks don’t expect to be spied on and monitored by those they do business with. And a vigorous backlash has begun, lawsuits and accusations and investigations are already flying. Charges of wiretapping and computer fraud are tossed around.
In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. I’ve always been suspicious of my smartphone and it’s 206-page User Guide. It’s just a blizzard of words, distracting you from the sneaky, underhanded goings on behind that big, shiny screen. In all those wordy pages there’s no mention of data tracking or monitoring or Carrier IQ. I checked my AT&T Customer Service Summary, too, nada. Neither one is forthcoming.
I’ll be honest, just having that phone in the house makes me nervous. I can feel its beady little eyes watching every move. I can sense its eager readiness to shoot off a detailed report to HQ. I see it there on my kitchen counter, message light blinking like a pulse, and my lip curls into a sneer. I bristle at the very sight.
You know, it might be time to toss the phone and grab a tin foil helmet.
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