I am typing this article slowly, because I know you will need to read it carefully.
Indeed, there are 382 reasons why you must not Like any App on Facebook. However, if the following three do not move you to change your actions, then what good would it do for me to nag you?
By clicking on an App, you are accepting the terms and conditions. For example, did you know that a simple App like ‘schoolFeed’ (used by 16 million people) wants you to agree to the following:
a) They can do whatever they like to you and your data, photos, friends, email, phone, etc.
b) They are allowed to make mistakes even if you suffer as a result.
c) You can never sue them.
d) Any idea you think of, immediately belongs to them. They want it 100%. You have no say in it. This, alone, is enough to trigger a bunch of fives. Who the bloody hell do they think they are? This is immoral, unconscionable, and unethical.
If you can agree to these terms, then please stop wondering how people in those far-away countries have managed to tolerate their dictators for so long. If you can knowingly surrender all your rights and private data, then you are daft.
schoolFeed also says that it WILL give any and all information about you AND your friends, to a third party; and schoolFeed does not care what the third-parties do with it. They get rich. You get done like a dinner.
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE?
Ok, those of you who say that you have nothing to hide, consider this: did you know that an App can trace your every move, even after you log out of Facebook? The last time you logged onto Facebook, some or all of the Apps to which you have signed-up, will know every click you make, every website you visit, every search-term you type into a browser… Do you really not care if your lover, family, future employer, stalker, got a hold of each and every webpage on which you have clicked (and how long you lingered and what you bought and what you typed…)?
One of my clients once showed me a contract he drew-up for a new Director of Sales that he wished to hire. He asked for my opinion. I said, ‘If your candidate actually signs this stupid employment contract, you ought to fire him immediately. Anyone who agrees to these terms, is not fit to hold a senior position.’
So the second reason why you ought not Like or use any App, is because I am yet to find an App that is within the realm of decency. Agreeing to its terms, makes you the idiot. The very people who say, ‘I don’t care, so long as I get to connect with my friends,’ are sometimes the same people who protest against globalisation and the greedy multinationals. Now, make up your mind! In places like China and Egypt, there are people in jail thanks to Yahoo and Microsoft’s terms and conditions. The police track them down for speaking up for democracy. The terms & conditions and tracking software allowed police to find and torture them. If you still don’t care, don’t let me catch you trying to do good deeds for anyone by way of raising funds or helping the poor, because that would be rhetoric and hypocrisy.
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE?
Some of my friends have over 700 Likes. They follow chefs, singers, and sports stars. They presume they have nothing to hide, and nothing to worry about. Some of those Apps might be devised and controlled (or accessed) by your former lover or future or current employer. The Apps send cookies to your computer. While doing your work, or sending emails, or buying something online, your privacy is being invaded. The cookies are running invisible Apps in the background to send (to an unknown third-party) every password, keystroke, and email or letter you have typed. When your future employers reject your job application, you will never know the real reason why.
There are people who only buy Organic products. Ask them to define what the term ‘Organic’ means. They can’t tell you. Those who by free-range eggs haven’t a clue if the farm is really free-range. All they know is that the box says so. They drink fair-trade coffee, and haven’t a clue what that means. Anyone can print those words on packets of coffee and chocolate. This means that people have no idea what is going on. By Liking an App, and accepting the terms, people have no idea what they are supporting, including terrorists, identity thieves, phishers, scammers, and hackers. You could be aiding and abetting such undesirables. How? By giving them access to your email account. schoolFeed actually tells you that you have authorised them to use your email, and to send emails on your behalf to your friends! They can post on your behalf.
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE?
The cookies you accept can get into your computer and change your settings. Then, even if you later clear and block all cookies, it’s too late. The computer might have been infected, and then un-infected. Sandwiched between these two actions was a ‘change of setting’, which means that at a later time, when you least suspect it, your computer will do something to harm you (delete everything) or harm others (infect a group of friends to help spread phishing software from a trusted source (you being trusted by your mates)) or join a gang of computer zombies to hack into airlines, the electricity grid, and banks, to shut-down a city. Your computer becomes one of two million computers working together, (without your knowledge), to form a supercomputer. If one supercomputer did something bad, we can scramble some jets to send a missile and knock it out. But, two million zombie computers around the world cannot be taken down. They can do untold damage. Do you wish to join such a gang to shut down airports and to destroy banks? Or, is ignorance bliss? It happens. It has happened. It is happening. How would you know if you were a gang member? You would not know. So, thanks very much.
(By the way, I used to be IBM’s spokesman for deep-computing (supercomputing) and high technology. In 2012, IBM was yet again the supercomputing superemo, whose latest machine (monster) can crunch over 16 quadrillion (one thousand million million) calculations per second. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second. If you can’t wrap your brain around that, then imagine this kind of hypothetical challenge whereby you and the supercomputer are about to have a physical race. You sit in the cockpit of the world’s fastest fighter jet, ready to fly at supersonic speed around the world. Ready, set, go… Before you can move your hands from your laps to touch the joystick, the supercomputer would have flown around the world 25,000 times.)