Tag Archives: Hot for Words

Mini-Rumination: Big Brother, er, Google, is Watching

For the third time in two months, YouTube yesterday asked The Curmudgeon for his cell phone number when he tried to sign onto the site.

Why?  Why on earth does YouTube (or, more precisely, Google, YouTube’s owner), need ANY user’s cell phone number?  Even The Curmudgeon’s employer doesn’t have his cell phone number.

Come to think of it, his own father doesn’t have his cell phone number.

For users’ “protection”?  Please – that explanation doesn’t pass the laugh test.

YouTube/Google acts like its users have “accounts.”  We don’t.  We just want to see old clips from Studio 60, the late Donna Summer singing “State of Independence,” and the lovely Marina and her latest “Hot for Words” feature.  YouTube/Google’s proprietary attitude toward its users reminds The Curmudgeon of the old days of America Online, when the now over-the-hill company insisted on referring to its users as “members.”  We weren’t “members;” we were customers – paying customers, too.

YouTube/Google acts all indignant when you decline to give your phone number – like it has a right to it.  It doesn’t.  What’s next – our social security number?  Our ATM PIN?  Or maybe it’s just a case of Facebook envy:  sheer jealousy over the degree to which Facebook has snookered people into spilling their guts about their lives and a desire to match that successful but obnoxious achievement.

The Curmudgeon, for one, wants no part of it.

Hey, Google – leave us kids alone!