Press-Republican

Guest Column

April 27, 2014

Double standard prevails

I don’t know why, but I’m always amazed by hypocrisy. I shouldn’t be, but I am.

There was a time that if I made a statement like that, my ex-wife would roll her eyes and give me the “My God, what now?” look, the look that always gave me the incentive to launch into one tirade or another.

What now? I’ll tell you what now.

Last week, Dropbox, the application that allows a person to store and share all manner of information and whatnot in the proverbial “cloud,” named former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice to their board of directors. Dropbox appointed her as part of their strategy “to improve and expand their global footprint.”

The announcement no sooner sped its way through cyberspace than the outcry of disapproval began.

Opponents to Ms. Rice’s appointment immediately launched “Drop Dropbox,” a new website encouraging users to boycott Dropbox until Ms. Rice was “dropped” from the board.

They’re condemning Ms. Rice for her role in setting up and promoting America’s intelligence agencies’ surveillance policies. They believe that Ms. Rice isn’t the best person “to trust with our most important data.”

I understand their concern.

Our Fourth Amendment right to privacy is one of the foremost securities that every American has — and we shouldn’t take it for granted.

What I don’t understand is the hypocrisy of condemning Ms. Rice while giving Google a pass on its (relatively) new terms and conditions and privacy policy, which reads:

“Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such a customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

In other words, Google, by their own admission, is reading every email that passes through their servers — every freakin’ email.

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