OP-ED: ‘This Call May Be Recorded and Monitored for Better Service….’

  • By Joseph J. Honick 
Joseph J. Honick

Joseph J. Honick
That message is played many millions a day, if not hundreds of millions of times, almost any time anyone calls in for information, to complain or for anything else to commercial telephone numbers of all kinds.  In the process, callers recite all sorts of personal information from social security numbers to credit card accounts and goodness knows what else.
What’s the difference between these realities and the revelations of the now notorious Mr. Snowden, formerly of the National Security Agency?  Answer:  virtually no one complains or hangs up when the recorded announcement is made so callers can get to someone to help them.

Question:  where was the offended Edward Snowden and all the consumer protection outfits even once campaigning against these consumer invasions?

By now we know that this kind of consumer information freely offered by callers is used for marketing, demographic studies and other purposes, all without the slightest compensation to the callers or even notification of how and when their most personal data are used.

So where are the hue and cry from the offended civil righters in regard to these commercial and profitable uses of personal information?  The word “hypocrisy” comes to mind.

Yet what Snowden has manufactured into an international issue so successfully is only different in that it is cleared federal personnel and machinery scanning these data.  Can it be that consumers trust everyone from tv sales promoters to telephone companies to…well you name it…more than the very government tasked with protecting the nation?  The answer apparently is “yes!”

I don’t know how to measure these rationalities by the same public that supports massive budgets for the same government it trusts to go to war but way less than sales promoters to whom the citizenry willingly confesses any and all information requested often by robots at the other end of the calls.

What is urgently necessary is to open the discussion and debate over those “your call may be(read will be)recorded for improved service.”  Perhaps, it would relieve the sense of consumer group hypocrisy so silent on these commercial uses of your information but loud and louder in protest against the government tasked with your protection.

                                          * * *

Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at joehonick@gmail.com


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