I have just finished watching latest episode of the informative The virtual revolution: A history of the internet presented by the latest addition to my celebrity harem Dr Aleks Krotoski (who used to present ‘Bits’ in the late 90’s). Congratulations and I hope Myleene Klass, Avril Lavigne, Summer Glau and the female cast of ‘Legend of the Seeker’ make you feel welcome.

Today’s installment concerned the use of your private searches and interests as tradable commodities. And while, yes, in part this does raise issues of Civil liberties, it also (for me at least) really doesn’t. I’m well aware my computer is being assaulted by tracking programs, that each click and the time I spend on each page is being monitored, but that’s unfortunately the price we must pay for something as utterly useful as the web. Over the years I have, for instance, uploaded 100’s of mb of pictures to photobucket for the convenience of not having to own a server to host images I want to use; and if anyone believed the company used their milk of human kindness to pay the bandwidth rates then get off my property and back to your glorious workers collective.

Unfortunately, at present one can’t promise and trade sexual favours directly with Google employees, so one must accept that in order to receive a free service, google and it’s followers need something tangible like viewing habits to generate wealth and thus support the service we so depend on. Certainly security is an issue, and we don’t like the idea that someone could be getting a real-time feed of our web activity (but, there’s also a small chance someone is watching you now with a telephoto lens through the gap in the curtain…), but sadly it’s this or have a credit card handy every time you want to search for something, and as I mostly use Google as an advanced spell checker these days, I would be paying 5p a search for the convenience of not having to own a scientific dictionary.

It’s all very Faustian. But more so it’s a mind set; as long as you understand the internet is as public as the local shopping precinct and (to repeat a common saying) there’s no such thing as a free lunch, you should be fine. Yes, there is a debate to be had on how much privacy should be sacrificed for how much convenience, but like dabbling in the stock market or hiring an underage prostitute; as long as one is cautious there is nothing to fear from making such an exchange.

What I have a problem with however is being forced to release this precious commodity, my electronic soul as it were, to services I have either paid for or do not want. For instance: the software that came with my wonderful Samsung phone.

“But David?” I hear you cry “that wonderful piece of modern technology has impressed you more each day, how could there be any problems”. Well lets start with the fact I don’t want Samsung media-fortress-net on my PC, I don’t want a AV multi-hubatron with its coordinated faceapp upload gradients. I want a box that appears in “my computer” that will let me move things. Sony were fine with this, my delightful sorely mourned and missed old cyber-shot let me do this, it was so wonderfully simple. Not so Samsung, oh no. If I even want to remove a single picture I must boot up said information-synergy-colossus and bare the hideous chirpiness of its start-up. I just know that somewhere 10 creatives consumed a large amount of Chinese food while choosing a bouncy tone that “expressed not only power of Samsung technology and brand, but also the vaginally gooey warmth of it’s corporate responsibility”. This makes me sad. It’s as if they used all that lovely consumer profile information gathered by Amazon.com to produce a product targeted to make my life just that little bit worse each day…

Where was I? yes. What really got my goat was it’s insistence I sign up to Samsung to use it. That I must offer my precious meta-life fluid at the alter of a God I do not believe in. Yes I didn’t have to tell them my address (not that I did, some housing estate in Devon is getting A LOT of mailshots concerning Sadomasochism animal porn…), but then again I didn’t have to say put music on the phone to play on it’s media program, or remove any pictures taken by it’s large camera… This is where I draw the line: Being forced to contribute to my consumer online profile to use a product I bought and fucking paid for. I hate Samsung so very much…

Yes, this whole conceit basically functioned as a trojan horse to complain once more about my godawful choice in touch phones. DO NOT BUY A SAMSUNG S8000.