Microsoft Scroogling You, Exploiting Privacy Fears

By Mary C. Long 

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 7.58.11 AMIf you have concerns about Google’s respect for your privacy, you can now buy anti-Google merchandise to prove it. From Microsoft.

Yeah, you read that right. Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft has launched a new range of items in their Scroogled store, including “Scroogled” hats, “Keep calm while we steal your data” mugs, and “Step into our web” t-shirts, all featuring the Google logo.

Not only does this seem petty, it also seems a little bit hypocritical — and potentially embarrassing for Microsoft.

Because how do we know they’re any better? How do we know they’re not snooping too? How do we know there aren’t little spy cameras in those Scroogled hats? How do we know anything?!

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, and it’s true that the merchandise would be perfect for workplace Secret Santa, but something still seems wrong about buying that kind of thing from Microsoft.

Especially considering they’ve admitted that their data centers aren’t all that secure anyway. Pot calling the kettle black, and all that.

Most of us have online privacy fears, and it’s not just paranoia. It is a real concern. But at the same time, who really trusts any of these huge corporations? The general consensus is that each is as bad as the next – it just hasn’t been exposed yet.

Other than avoid the internet entirely, there’s really not much you can do. And to be honest, if anybody is spying on you, they’re probably not going to care about the stuff youre searching for. Do you really think some NSA guy is sitting in his office laughing at you for Googling the symptoms of IBS or how to get dog vomit off the couch? (I would if I worked there, but that’s probably NOT how it goes.)

One final note: Before you rush out to purchase a Scroogled shirt of your very own, consider the sad, dark place where Microsoft pulled this idea from: Its bitterness over Google owning search while Internet Explorer and Bing both suck.

Now go get Scroogled.