Archive for September, 2013

We read your mind

Friday, September 27th, 2013

If you’re not a hermit, various companies that you do business with have told you that they know what you care about and how much you care. In other words, they claim that they can read your mind.

Privacy is a popular subject of such claims.

“At ESSENCE Healthcare, we know privacy is important to you.”

Renaissance Brands: “We know that your privacy is important to you, so that means your privacy is important to us as well.” “Your privacy is important to you. We know that.”

MedAmerica: “We know that your privacy is important to you.”

Palace Theatre on Broadway: “We know that your personal information is very important to you, and we respect your privacy.”

“At Pictastik (“App”) we know that your privacy is very important to you and that’s why we want to make sure you fully understand how your Data …”.

Joomlashine: “We recognizes that your privacy is very important to you …”.

“Aspermont Limited recognises that your privacy is very important to you.”

“Sqipp, Inc. (“Sqipp”) knows that you care about how your personal information is used and shared, and we take your privacy seriously.”

Bellevue Jazz Festival: “We know that you care how your information is used …”.

“We at Pertino know that you care how your personal information is used and shared.”

The list goes on.

Obviously, they are all lying or deluded. They can’t know how important privacy is to you, or even whether it is important to you at all. You yourself may not even know this. Were they not so arrogant, these companies would introduce their privacy disclosures with something like the following:

We have no idea whether privacy is important to you or not. And, if it is important to you, we don’t know whether you want privacy or abhor it. Heck, you may be an exhibitionist. You may have a waterproof webcam in your toilet bowl that uploads a video to Youtube on every flush. What do we know? But here’s the problem: The government is forcing us to tell you what we do with information we have about you. So here we go. If you don’t give a damn, sorry for the waste of paper, but it wasn’t our choice. Thanks for your understanding.

If somebody sends you a privacy statement starting like that, please let me know so I can start patronizing that company.

Testing Der Mundo

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

This blog and the website of which it is a part are in English, which is a minority language (as are all other languages in the world).

Various services are available that could translate it into other languages.

With this entry, I am testing one of those services. It is named “Der Mundo”.

Here’s how it works. I give you a special address for this website, and you visit the site using that address. Der Mundo intercepts your request and detects your preferred language on the basis of the information provided by your browser. Der Mundo then submits the page content to a translation service, gets the translated output, and sends it to you in lieu of the original page.

Does it work? Let’s try it. The special address is

One problem, though: If your favorite language is English, then nothing should happen, so, in that case, to test Der Mundo you should temporarily tell your browser or your operating system that your preferred language is something else.