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Negative Consequences from Clicking on “I Agree” Understanding App, Social Media, and AI Terms of Service

Negative Consequences from Clicking on “I Agree” Understanding App, Social Media, and AI Terms of Service 

By Rex M. Lee, Security Advisor  

Before consumers of technology can understand the terms of service they are accepting when they click on “I Agree,” it is important for the consumer to understand that Alphabet (Google), Apple, and Microsoft are in the “Information Trafficking Industry.” 

The information trafficking industry is centered on the collection of highly confidential personal, business, medical, legal, employment, and location information from operating systems (OS), applications (app), social media, artificial intelligence (AI), and internet end users, you, for example. 

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the gatekeepers to the internet meaning that they control access to global internet trade and commerce through their dominance over the OS, App, social media, and AI markets. 

This means that app, social media, and AI developers such as Meta (Facebook), Amazon, and Byte Dance (TikTok) must pay Google, Apple, and Microsoft billions of dollars annually to have their apps, social media, and AI-supported services distributed globally through preinstalled agreements and/or distributed through Google Play, Apple App Store, or Microsoft App Store. 

Google, Apple, and Microsoft also make billions of dollars a year from the distribution of their apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services through agreements between themselves even though these three tech giants are competitors. 

The fact that these tech giants collude with each other for the distribution of their products and services is an anti-trust issue since Google, Apple, and Microsoft monopolize OS, apps, social media, and AI development globally. 

This means that these three tech giants control the OS, app, social media, and AI markets globally through centralized distribution between only three companies creating a “Trio-poly” for lack of a better term. 

These three tech giants are responsible for the development of the Android OS, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows OS which are the most widely used operating systems in the world supporting billions of smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, and PCs manufactured by numerous multinational corporations such as Samsung, Sony, Dell, HP, AUSUS, Lenovo, TLC, LG, and the list goes on. 

You For Sale- Digital Enslavement 

Any consumer that purchases a connected product such as a smartphone, tablet PC, SmartTV, or PC is first a Google, Apple, or Microsoft OS end user pending what OS supports their product. 

This means that Google, Apple, and Microsoft sell access to their OS end user (you) to predatory developers, including those from China, that want to use their intrusive apps and addictive social media platforms as vehicles to monitor, track, data mine, and exploit the OS end user for profits through predatory surveillance and data mining business practices rooted in “Surveillance Capitalism.” 

Today, intrusive apps and social media platforms, such as Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube can be classified as “Legal Malware” enabling the developer to conduct audio, video, and physical surveillance on the end user while data mining over 5,000 highly confidential data points from the end user to exploit for profits. 

Data points collected from the end user include highly confidential personal, business, medical, legal, employment, and location information. 

This means that these intrusive and predatory tech giants are monetizing their end user’s entire life to exploit for profits 24x7/365 days per year by way of intrusive apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported products and services. 

When you start using your smartphone or PC, for example, you are enslaved as an uncompensated employee working to produce information about your life that Google, Apple, Microsoft, plus their developer partners exploit for profits. 

This means that there is no privacy or security associated with the use of a smartphone, tablet PC, connected product, or PC supported by the Android OS, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows OS. 

It is bad enough to lose privacy, but to be exploited for profits at the expense of privacy and security should be unacceptable to anyone who values consumer protection, security, and privacy. 

Surveillance Capitalism- How Tech Giants Create Monopolies 

Today mainstream operating systems, apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services are supported by a targeted advertising business model centered on predatory surveillance and data mining business practices rooted in Surveillance Capitalism. 

Surveillance Capitalism is a highly predatory and exploitative business model employed by Alphabet (Google), Apple, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook), ByteDance (TikTok), Tencent (WeChat), Amazon, and other tech giants. 

Since Google, Apple, and Microsoft, plus their app developer partners monopolize the OS, App, social media, and AI markets they can collectively crush competition while controlling innovation plus maintaining control over their customers and/or end users through oppressive business practices. 

There are two examples of how these tech giants crush competition while controlling innovation which include Meta’s purchase of Instagram and Microsoft’s merger/acquisition of OpenAI which enabled these tech giants to retain their monopolies over social media and emerging AI markets. 

Regarding emerging AI technologies and products, these monopolistic tech giants will ensure that AI-supported technologies and products will be supported by predatory surveillance and data mining business practices ensuring that they will be able to collect highly confidential personal and business information from AI end users to exploit for profits. 

Tech Addiction by Design- Brain Hijacking Technology 

Google, Apple, and Microsoft, plus their developer partners, first develop highly addictive surveillance and data mining platforms that utilize apps, social media, and AI as vehicles to monitor, track, and data mine the end user for profits at all costs including safety. 

For example, Facebook and Instagram whistleblower, Frances Haugen, and former Google Product Manager, Tristan Harris, testified before Congress that Meta and Google intentionally developed their apps and social media platforms to be highly addictive using “brain hijacking” technology. 

Brain hijacking technology is associated with harmful manipulative advertising technology used to exploit the end users for profits whether the end user is an adult, teen, or child. 

Meta Co-founder, Sean Parker, describes brain hijacking technology as “Dopamine” when he had this to say during an interview with Axios, “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?... And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.” 

Sean Parker and Tristan Harris have publicly admitted that Meta and Google use harmful brain-hijacking technology such as intermittent variable rewards and social validation feedback loops (likes, etc.) to addict their end users to their apps and social media platforms so the end user can be exploited for profits even at the expense of the end user’s safety. 

Sean Parker also had this to say regarding social validation feedback loops, “God Only Knows What It’s Doing to Our Children’s Brains” validating that Meta clearly understood that they were developing highly addictive technology that was harmful to their end users, he concluded with this statement, “The inventors, creators — it's me, it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it's all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.” 

The FTC and government are not enforcing consumer/child protection and privacy laws when it comes to big tech. 

Forced Participation by Way of Contracts of Adhesion (Terms of Service) 

Most consumers of technology would not agree to be exploited for profits at the expense of their security, privacy, or safety by way of predatory surveillance and data mining business practices. 

However, today’s consumers of technology are being forced to participate due to market centralization centered on OS, App, social media, and AI development and distribution that is being monopolized by a handful of tech giants who all employ predatory surveillance and data mining business practices. 

Since a handful of monopolies have centralized these markets for control, consumers cannot purchase any mainstream smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, or PCs that are supported by secure, private, and safe decentralized operating systems, apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services. 

Consumers of technology are being forced to participate via the collective terms of service that support the OS, pre-installed apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services that, in turn, support smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, or PC supported by the Android OS, Apple iOS, or MS Windows OS. 

When a consumer purchases any connected product, such as a smartphone or PC, supported by the Android OS, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows they will have to accept the collective terms of service that support the OS, plus the preinstalled apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services that support the device the consumer is purchasing. 

For example, a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone supported by the Android OS can come with over 300 pre-installed apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported products developed by numerous multinational companies, including those from China, who are enabled by Google to simultaneously monitor, track, and data mine the end user for profits. 

The OS, including all the preinstalled apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported products are supported by terms of service that include, terms and conditions (T&Cs), privacy policies, end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), and in-device application permissions (app permissions). 

The T&Cs, privacy policies, EULAs, and app permissions are written in a torturous manner making it impossible for the product owner and/or end user to understand the collective terms of service that they are accepting when they click on “I Agree.”

The predatory terms of service enable the collective developers to exploit the end user for profits via intrusive apps, addictive social media platforms, and AI-supported products that are preinstalled into the device by the collective developers, including the OS developer. 

What tech consumers need to realize is the fact that they are accepting a predatory and exploitive contract of adhesion, which is a take-it-or-leave-it contract, when they click on “I Agree.”

This means that the product owner and/or end user is being forced to participate in a highly exploitive business model supported by predatory surveillance and data mining business practices rooted in “Surveillance Capitalism.”

In other words, the product owner and/or end user agrees to be monitored, tracked, data mined, and exploited for profits by the OS, app, social media platform, and AI developers, including those from China, such as, ByteDance (TikTok), BAIDU, and Tencent (WeChat) posing massive security, privacy, and safety threats to the end user, including teens and children. 

A contract of adhesion means that if the consumer does not accept the collective terms of service that support all products concerned, the consumer cannot use the product they paid for, such as a smartphone, tablet PC, SmartTV, connected vehicle, PC, and the list goes on. 

Oppressive Business Practices by Way of Contracts of Adhesion and Monopolies 

Forcing a consumer to accept a contract of adhesion is a form of forced participation meaning that the consumer has no choice but to accept the collective terms of service that support the OS, pre-installed apps, social media platforms, and AI-supported services regardless of the predatory legalese (legal language) contained in the exploitive contract of adhesion. 

Since Google, Apple, and Microsoft dominate the OS market, plus apps, social media, and AI distribution, they can employ oppressive business practices that include the ability to de-platform any company for any reason. 

Google, Apple, and Microsoft can de-platform potential competition which they have done in the past regarding the distribution of social media platforms where they discontinued the distribution of the Parler social media app by banning it from Google Play, Apple App Store, and Google App Store. 

Although months later they re-instated Parler, the damage was done as Parler was the number one downloaded social media app in the world before they were de-platformed, and after being de-platformed they are no longer competitive with the existing social media monopolies that include Meta, ByteDance, Google, and X (Twitter). 

Additionally, the collective terms of service that support social media platforms for example, enable these tech giants to crush free speech, freedom of the press, and the right to assemble peacefully online as we have seen during the 2020 presidential election when major news stories involving presidential candidates were censored by Meta and X which came to light when Elon Musk, X Owner, released the Twitter Files. 

Solutions- Decentralized Technology  

Companies, such as San Francisco-based Purism, are manufacturing smartphones, tablet PCs, servers, and laptop PCs supported by secure operating systems that include PureOS by Purism. 

PureOS, for example, supports secure apps and social media platforms developed to support privacy and are not supported by a targeted advertising business model rooted in Surveillance Capitalism. 

Many of the apps, including the operating systems do not require the end user to accept a contract of adhesion to utilize the smartphones, tablet PCs, laptop PCs, or servers supported by PureOS. 

In other words, the product owner can use their smartphone or PC without having to “Click on I Agree.”

Learn more at Purism  

 

Rex M. Lee is a Privacy and Cybersecurity Advisor, Tech Journalist, and Senior Tech/Telecom Industry Analyst for BlackOps Partners, Washington, DC. Find more information at CyberTalkTV.com.

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