RUSH: Well, it’s iPhone Day, and we’re still just waiting here at bated breath — with bated breath, folks. It’s… I don’t know. I just love the iPhone. Do you have anything in your life that captures or recaptures for you the way you felt as a young kid on Christmas or Christmas Eve, depending on when your family opened presents?
I have missed that feeling since I was about 12 or 13. You grow out of it. Nothing to do with Santa Claus. You just grow out of it, and there’s nothing better as an adult than to be able to recapture that kind of childlike enthusiasm. If it’s not for phones or whatever, I hope everybody has something in your life that helps you to recapture that childlike excitement, ’cause there’s nothing like it.
There’s literally nothing like it.
Anyway, we are here.
For me, this will be the slowest three hours of the radio program in a long time. For you it’ll be normal, standard operating procedure: The fastest three hours in media.
RUSH: Here’s Kevin in Chandler, Arizona. I’m glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the Open Line Friday edition of EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I just like to first say that you are my role model. I’ve listened to you for a long time, and it’s been a pleasure to learn from you.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate that.
CALLER: I’m concerned. This is cell phone day for you, and I’m a tech nerd from way back in the day.
RUSH: (laughing) “Cell Phone Day! … I’m a tech nerd!” (laughing) Yeah, it’s Cell Phone Day. There you go. (laughing) I like that.
CALLER: I’ve owned every little cell phone ever out. I’m one of the first-adopter kind of people. My concern now is where we’ve let ourselves go in the privacy and user agreement laws. We’ve kind of defamed everything that way. I don’t know. I’m sure you’ve probably read many of the user agreements for phone apps nowadays.
RUSH: When you say privacy issues are becoming too much, you mean there’s too much invasion of privacy?
RUSH: You know what this is?
CALLER: The availability to know everything about that person confined to a cell phone.
RUSH: Well, here’s the thing. You know what this is, though? It’s a series of compromises. You know, flying an airplane — the actual act of flight — is a series of compromises, and so is this. It’s a compromise between security and convenience.
RUSH: A lot of times the convenience wins out in people’s own minds. I understand the concern people might have that agents of the government could spy or hackers or others. There are more and more steps people can take to protect themselves. What’s really important, I think, is log-in data, your credit card information, all the stuff that could constitute identity theft.
There are any number of ways that you can keep that private. Two-step verification, for example, to log into anything or change a password can go a long way to keeping your data private and secure. Other information that you may make public about your location, your credit card numbers and this kind of thing? Yeah, it’s a tradeoff. It is.
It’s a question of which came first. Tim Cook wrote a letter to the Apple customer base this week, and he had an interesting way of characterizing Google. He didn’t call them out by name, but he said, “Some of these companies, you are the product. At Apple, you aren’t. You are the customer.” In other words, Google makes its money trading in information about its users, collecting it and sharing it with advertisers or whoever else.
Google has designed its products around learning as much about who is using them as possible. Cook made the point (summarized), “That’s not what we do. We don’t keep your data. We don’t care. We don’t pass it on. We never have. You are our customers, and your satisfaction and all that blah blah is what we’re concerned about.” I thought it was well stated. There’s a lot of paranoia about this, and it’s understandable.
You look at this latest incident. You want to talk about the greatest illustration of the fright or the concern that people have about their privacy being invaded? Apple, as part of a promotion, gave every one of their, what, 800 million customers a free copy of U2’s latest album. They didn’t put it on anybody’s computer. They didn’t put it on anybody’s phone. They put it on the servers and if you wanted to download it, you could.
You would have thought that Apple just stole everything that was on everybody’s phone.
The reaction to this was one of the most instructive, informative things I’ve ever seen in terms of helping me to understand just where a lot of young people’s thinking is on this subject, because there’s a great contradiction. The same people who were just behaving irrationally with hatred toward Apple and U2 over a gift, are the same people on Twitter and Facebook vomiting every piece of information about themselves to whoever will listen and read it.
Where they’re going for dinner, if they’re gonna be on time, what they had for dinner, did it make ’em sick, who they had dinner with, who they had dinner with that was a fool and who wasn’t. They’re vomiting all of this stuff! Apple puts a gift of an album on a server where it has to be downloaded if you want to use it, and you would have thought that the National Security Agency had just stolen every piece of information about these people.
It was the most… I mean, it was hatred, folks — sheer, unadulterated hatred — and for U2! I mean the group, U2. I bet Bono still hasn’t recovered from figuring out how many young people think he’s nothing more than a crotchety old man telling people to get off his front yard. He’s nothing more than dad’s band — and dad’s band is never cool, right? Yeah, it’s been fascinating to watch.