Posted by: Tony Carson | 20 November, 2009

Web 2 and the corporate sociopaths

In this new Web 2 world we’re living in there are an increasing array of apps out there that require us to park our data in those vast storage farms that are billed as the digital equivalent of Fort Knox.

These storage farms may well be the future but right now I think we’re feeling a visceral aversion to using them. The timing is way off.

Thanks in large measure to the auto and Wall Street melt-downs and the tax-payer bail outs (and the subsequent conduct of the banks), we don’t actually trust big corporations any more. We expect that any leverage we give to them they will immediately use against us. It seems to happen all the time now.

So the feeling is, give corporations our data and they will ultimately find a ‘hybrid derivative-way’ to screw us out of, not only our data, but our bank accounts, too.

Take Google as a tiny example. The company whose slogan is “Do no evil’ is either embarking on an ultraistic ideal to give us all digital access to everything ever written or, if you listen to their critics, they are devising a way to make us pay big time for material that is already in the public domain.

But what is public domain any more? Corporations have been able to extend their patents and copyrights so far into the future that your great, great grandchildren will still have to pay a fee to wear Minnie Mouse on their t-shirts.

When corporations were given all the rights of an individual back in the ’50s, the persona they chose was that of the megalomaniacal sociopath who can’t possibly acquire enough wealth, whatever the means. Think Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Finance, Big Everything.

So why would we trust these companies now with our data?

In fact, why should we trust the internet at all? Sure, it’s a fabulous thing but there is a disquieting feeling, unprovable yet, that the pipe, which has so successfully brought such a fantastic flow of information to our homes, will soon be reversing its flow and sucking all the value they can from us. And when that starts (and it feels like it has already begun) there will be no stopping them.

The corporate sociopath has no conscience.

I’m feeling a little paranoia here … but that’s because I’ve been paying attention.

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