Thursday, September 2, 2010

In which Our Hero realizes yet again that he's actually glad that can't afford a smart phone.

It's not paranoia if they are out to get you.
As I've mentioned before in previous work-related rants, I'm a freelance editor (also known as corporate whore) that picks up regular work for an audio transcription company proofreading transcripts for them.  Today I received a packet of work that, after doing some curiosity-fueled research, completely scared the ever loving shit out of me.

The file itself is similar to what I did a couple weeks ago where I slaved over 30 hours of retarded requests for penis jokes from that text message answering service.  I thought it was the same thing, but I was getting different style messages - less instances of "suck my big black cock" and more along the lines of email and text messages spoken aloud.  What I did keep hearing over and over again was the word "Vlingo," so I conducted an exhaustive bit of research (I fucking Googled it okay?  Get off my dick.  Jesus fuck.) and it turns out there's some company with a new smart phone app that has some pretty good text-to-speech recognition, judging from the raw file that I've got here in front of me.

Of course at that point I started thinking, "Holy shit, these are people's personal emails and texts!  Why do I have access to them?"  And then I figured out that this Vlingo company is obviously recording all the instances of people using the app on their BlackBerrys or their Droids or iPhones or whatever, saving whatever the person says and obviously storing it somewhere.

My Tinfoil Hat Senses started tingling, and I went and checked out the Vlingo website, where after some exhaustive digging I uncovered their Privacy Policy (I finally scrolled down to the bottom of the page and found it, like a god damned retard).

The second paragraph seems innocuous enough:
Vlingo never stores or keeps personally identifiable information on any user and never shares any user information outside of Vlingo for any reason. We do collect personal information to improve the service...
 Jesus Mary and Slowbro.  At least they admit it, even if they're not recording any personal information.

Then, I find another gem:
We collect and store the location of your handset only when you speak (which you can opt out of at any time through the Options screen of the Vlingo mobile client application). We do not associate the handset's location with your personal information. We do not know who you are when you use the location-awareness component of our service. We use this location information for research and development purposes and to improve your experience with the service.
 Great, now they're tracking my location too.  So they're pinpointing where and when I'm using their service, and what I'm saying.  At least you can opt out of it.  And what the hell are "research and development purposes?"  It's bad enough mobile phones have GPS trackers built into them already, but at least that has some survival use if you're lost in the middle of nowhere.  Then again, you probably have shit for signal anyway out there in Bumfuck, Minnesota or wherever it is you've gotten dumped after some crazed coyotes removed your liver and wrote "CALL THE AMBULANCE" on your chest in lipstick.

Do I really want some god damned company knowing where I am when I send filthy text messages to some fat bloated disgusting fursuit-wearing diaper fetishist I met on Craigslist last night looking to exchange "yiffing" for some free salvia?  Furthermore, is what I'm currently going through considered "user information?"  If so, why is it something I'm allowed to look at?  I ain't employed by Vlingo; as an independent contractor, I'm actually not employed by the transcription company either, technically.

Should I even care?  I mean it's just a job.  I should be working on it right now and earning some money that I can put towards buying some shitbox car so I won't be trapped here with two poo-eating dogs and their lovely owners all the god damned time.  At the same time I feel like I should be warning people about this Vlingo bullshit and how they're installing radio transmitters in my teeth so the Russian canine astronauts can communicate with me in the middle of the night, or whatever crazy paranoid people talk about.

8 comments:

  1. Lol corp. whore nice one :P.

    But yea thats how companies are now a days all power hungry and you have no privacy. And I do the too, I always read the agreement form.

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  2. Thanks for the support, both of you!

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    i am sharing the love,
    repeat
    i am sharing the love.

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    ReplyDelete