Surveillance Capitalism in Action

My father lives in Canada and is a passionate supporter of Montreal Canadiens, a hockey team.

The moment he came over to visit us from Canada, I started getting Google updates about Montreal Canadiens on my phone. The team was playing against Toronto Maple Leafs today, and my phone was going nuts with notifications.

I don’t follow hockey, and nothing like this happened until my father came over. He doesn’t have a smartphone, by the way.

12 thoughts on “Surveillance Capitalism in Action”

  1. “The moment he came over to visit us from Canada, I started getting Google updates about Montreal Canadiens on my phone.”

    Okay, let me make sure I got this straight: Your father comes to visit you, and your phone starts automatically getting messages that he might be interested in??

    You’re writing dystopic science fiction, right?


    1. Creepy as fuck, right? I have never in my life made any searches about the hockey team. Or any hockey team. But my dad comes over and notifications start pouring in. They don’t appear on N’s phone, just mine.

      Really, really creepy.


          1. Just imagine if he’d ever made any searches or had any interests that he wasn’t ready to share with his daughter.

            Imagine if you made any searches you aren’t ready to share with the world and then you come over for a visit anywhere and either login to check email or discuss it by email. Suddenly your hosts know whatever it is you had been googling back home and get regular updates.


            1. “made any searches you aren’t ready to share with the world and then you come over for a visit ”

              John darling, we were so happy that you were able to stop by last week…. and we hope you can come again real soon… and… I’ve discussed this with your father and we want you to know that we’ll do everything we can to support you if you really want to surgically transition to become a pony… and we’ll be happy to build you a little barn in back of the house where you can bed down when you….. (breaks down and cries hysterially).


            2. Oh, I know. I think Google had a failed product years ago – maybe Google Buzz, maybe G+ itself. Anyway, the day the product launched, Gmail users were automatically subscribed to follow the 5 Gmail users they had the most conversations with, and the list of people you followed was public. Clearly, Googlers either didn’t conceive of people having affairs or consciously decided to expose them.


  2. Recently my husband was looking for hiking boots online on his computer and I suddenly got ads for hiking boots on my phone. He never used my phone for this search. I really do not like where this is going.


  3. Weird but typical.

    OT: what do you think this child is going to think of his adoptive parents in the future . . . or, to put it differently, do you think these parents actually love the child? I mean: if I had ended up with a child in this way, I would have kept telling them they had an original set of parents, they had plenty of adults permanently committed to looking out for them, and I would be making every effort to have him at least in close touch with his mom … and would certainly want her in the country … and could actually have helped support the family to stay together in the first place rather than steal the child. So: do these adoptive parents actually love the kid?


    1. Of course, the adopters are horrible people who have zero love for the child. Just like all adopters who exclude real parents and biological relatives from the adopted child’s life.


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