You hear ‘Companies exist to make money’ more often than you should. But are we absolutely, 100% sure these businesses don’t exist to just whine?
Every time a new law comes out to say… keep our air breathable, and the rain from burning as it falls, no matter how small the impact on their bottom line actually is, all conglomerate heads and their pets in Congress can do is cry about it.
So naturally, now that the FCC is making its way to set up rules insisting communication and cable companies be completely up front about what they’re charging people, how they’re hobbling data, and accurate speed assessments among other things, here come the tissues.
Jon Brodkin wrote on the topic on Ars Technica, noting:
“The FCC rules aren’t in force yet because they are subject to a federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review under the US Paperwork Reduction Act,” so technically the rules are still subject to change before being laid down.
However, “for the sake of the consumer”, the lobby representing bloated giants like Comcast have already pushed for meetings with FCC officials insisting that mandated transparency is just going to confuse people.
Furthermore, because the enforcement of these laws in absence of a physical document handed to a consumer in a retail environment (your T-Mobile store for instance) would require documentation of each instance a consumer was not informed properly via a physical document, there seems to be more cause for consternation.
Because this, the lobby argues, constitutes an invasion of privacy into the purchases of individual customers.
The biggest, most moneyed companies buying and selling data so intimate that a pharmacy can literally track someone’s menstrual cycle have now decided they want what’s best for the consumer in terms of keeping things discrete, because it’s too much effort to make sure people shilling their products give someone another piece of paper.
Let that really sink in. The FCC is trying to put forth more truth-in-billing rules… and not only are companies insisting you’re too stupid to understand a list of fees, they’re also saying that they can’t possibly be burdened to eliminate potential privacy issues by having stores hand that list out to you in the first place.
If that’s not going to convince you that companies have to be fully forced to do non-horrifying things, as opposed to just naturally moving along with some nebulous ‘will of the consumer,’ what will?
For all our sakes, whatever that might be, I hope we never come to it.