From our Let’s Stipulate: Liberal Source desk

AlterNet is an unabashedly progressive website whose aim is to “inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.”

But that doesn’t mean they’re always wrong.

Case in point:


Customer Beware: You Are Being Tracked

From CCTV cameras to RFID wristbands, retailers are monitoring everything you do.

Are you planning to visit Disneyland anytime soon? If so, watch out when you are offered its latest marketing innovation, the MagicBand. When it’s introduced later this year, this oh-so-cuddly wristband will be embedded with a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip and be part of a system dubbed MyMagic+.  It will enable the company to monitor, track and analyze your every activity.


(The hardtracking staff profiled the Creepiest Place on Earth here.)

Nut graf:


Sadly, most Americans do not know the true scope of the tracking and surveillance now taking place. Four simple questions need to be addressed: 1) What is happening to all the personal data being captured? 2) How long is it being retained? 3) To what extent is it being sold to third-party commercial vendors? 4) Is your “private,” personal data being provided to government law enforcement authorities?


The piece proceeds from there to detail department-store surveillance, wireless transmitter monitoring in shopping carts, and CCTV tracking all over the place.

Not to mention facial recognition technology and mannekin cameras.

Bottomed-out line:


The tracking and profiling taking place in retail outlets is just one aspect of a widening digital communications web that is increasingly ensnaring ordinary Americans. The “web” consists of both government entities (federal and local) and private corporations (retail, online and telecom) that track, monitor and surveil everyone using inter-connected digital media. Most troubling, they are sharing the information, “data,” they collect.


And there’s not a thing you can do about it.

Caveat Empty.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
John R. Carroll has 303 post(s) on Sneak Adtack