AttenTV: A Great Idea If You’re A Creep, A Loser Or Just Don’t Have Any Respect For Yourself And Your Privacy

Can somebody please tell me where the appeal is in

I’ll break it down quickly for the benefit of those of you who don’t have time to read a long article.

A new service called AttenTV allows people to download a browser plug-in that will record and broadcast their clickstreams for others to watch. If you don’t know what a clickstream is, it’s a record of everything you click on while you’re on the internet. And if you don’t know what watching is, well, I’m afraid there’s little to no hope for you.

I know what some of you are thinking right now, and yes, this is what it sounds like and yes, I’m pretty sure we did used to call things like it spyware back in the day. There are differences between AttenTV and spyware, though not many from where I sit. It reportedly won’t show password protected content, you can turn it off and on as well as filter out specific sites, and you have to download it yourself. but the big question I have is why would you want to?

First of all, you have no idea who’s watching you. Did I miss the memo about cyberstalking no longer being a problem? And why would you want to turn yourself into big brother, or if not big brother, then pesky neighbourhood gossip who seems to know a little something about everybody?

And those questions don’t even begin to address the issue of why anybody who doesn’t have any creepy intentions would care what you’re looking at, or why you would think they would. Trust me, you’re neither that important or exciting. And to anybody who would actually want to watch somebody surf the internet, please, go outside and walk around in the world, or at the very least pick up the phone and talk to another human being until you regain your senses and maybe even figure out how and where your life went so horribly, horribly wrong.

The people behind the AttenTV concept, who are obviously angling to turn it into a money-making venture, like to say that it’s no different than visiting a website and having that website place a cookie on your machine. What I feel I can safely discern from this line of reasoning is that the people behind the AttenTV concept haven’t a clue how cookies actually work. I’ll break that one down too. When you visit a site, it will put a cookie on your machine. However, that cookie will not log everything you do after it gets there and share it with anyone who asks. Basically, a cookie is a little “hey how’s it goin'” between you and the website you went to, while AttenTV is more of a “hey universe, check out what Steve’s lookin’ at in snappy detail!”

When you think about all of the different aspects of this idea, you’re still left with the same big question. Why would you want to? Why would you want to expose your internet comings and goings to the entire world? Why would you want to give up more of your privacy for the financial gain of others who’s aim is to help advertisers serve you more ads? And why would you want to entrust that kind of data to people who don’t know the difference between spyware and a cookie? I don’t know about you, but I don’t, and even though I’ve never used the “service”, it looks like a loser on all counts to me and I probably never will.

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