As we noted in this earlier post on the New Ownership, corporations are transforming our purchases of services and physical objects into mere leases of intellectual property which itself remains in corporate hands.
An object of greatest interest to the corporation is the capability of monitoring and manipulating the customer — whilst simultaneously making her pay for the privilege of being surveilled.
Our earlier post used the example of the Xbox One, a surveillance system in the guise of a video game.
As originally packaged, the game required users to maintain a constant online presence on a technpological platform that tracked user movement, gesture, physiological measures, and even moods. Germany’s data protection commissioner sees it as a surveillance system pure and simple.
Public outrage over yet another massive snooping system, this one corporate-owned and user-financed, led lawmakers to draft up a bill, leading to this headline from Monday’s International Business Times:
Xbox One: Congressmen Introduce ‘We Are Watching You Act’ Bill, Targets Kinect Snooping
And from Tuesday’s IBT [though we suspect Tuesday’s headline reflects a stronger cause than fan pressure, since a law is an easy way for Congress to appear to be doing something about all-pervasive snooping, rather than, say, pressure ot rein in the ever-more-powerful NSA]:
Xbox One No Longer Requires Always-On Internet Connection As Microsoft Bows To Fan Pressure
So everyone can breathe easier, knowing that Congress is reigning in people who want to pry into our lives, while simultaneously being sworn to silence about a far more intrusive regime of snooping into our every digital connection.