Monday, December 10, 2012

Hidden Costs

Part of the preparation for the BG's birthday party Saturday at a local trampoline place was making sure that all the guests' parents had signed a waiver absolving the hosts of all liability and turning over a bunch of personal information to boot. I don't worry too much about such waivers, partly because I support assumption of risk, and partly because I believe that they will not do much to shield the establishment from liability for actual negligence. Still, it's a waste of time, and the project manager in me is annoyed at the need for this bit of political theatre every time I or my daughter want to do anything. Yesterday's Times had a slightly more apocalyptic take on the practice, but what I found most interesting was the fact that several countries have actually outlawed the practice, which seems to me to be the proper direction. I just can't believe that such an action would make this country any more litigious than it already is.

On the privacy side, I didn't like that they asked for a host of personal information, including my drivers license number. The aforementioned Sunday Paper fans the flames of my uneasiness with an article about how app downloaders are giving away access to all kinds of personal information when they accept the user agreement prior to installation. As the Gs load up their phones with "free" games and the like, I wonder what and who exactly we are allowing to share our network. Yuck.

It gets worse. As I suspected, children are often targeted, and data is being sold to marketers. An FTC report issued today has the details.

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