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The Digital Dilemma

Just a few hours ago, the guardian makes us aware of an interesting case. The article by Rob Davies is interesting for a few reasons, apart from the fact that it was nicely written and reads really well. We see the title ‘Google under pressure to refuse Viagogo advertising‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/sep/10/google-under-pressure-to-refuse-viagogo-advertising). I cannot completely agree with the premise, but I understand the setting.

When we are confronted with: ‘FA, UK Music and MPs urge Google to stop accepting payments from ticket firm‘ we are confronted with a few things, all apart from the fact on the path taken and that awareness is a good thing. You see, when the quote “The letter, sent to senior Google executives on Friday and seen by the Guardian, says that Viagogo’s prominence in search rankings is leading to consumers buying sports, music and theatre tickets that may be invalid” we are confronted with two distinct parts, the first is ‘may be invalid‘, the more interesting part is not on Google, but on why there is no criminal investigation and prosecution of Viagogo. Is it not interesting that we see ‘pressure Google‘ and not ‘prosecute Viagogo‘? That part makes little sense. If the law is clear on selling and tickets at vast mark-ups, why is that not clearly in place?

When I enter ‘Viagogo’ in my google search, I am treated to at the very top of the screen. On the Right side I see image below that, which leaves us with even more questions, if you look at that image properly. So we can see that Viagogo is setting the right stage for Digital Marketing, there is no denying this. So as we are introduced to the workings of Eric H. Baker, the American businessman (read entrepreneur), aka founder and CEO of Viagogo, and co-founder of StubHub, a Harvard and Stanford graduate, we need to consider the parts where it counts. Is he breaking the law, and moreover if he is not breaking the law, is the setting of “Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, one of the letter’s signatories, said: “I have heard too many times from distressed customers of Viagogo that they were led to the website because it was at the top of their Google search” a valid one?

You see, whenever I want to go to a concert, I go to the actual site of where the performance is and I see THERE where I can get the tickets. So the fact that some consumers are lazy is one thing, that they do not properly do their homework is another one. That aside, when the law is broken actions need to be taken, that is clear, but was it? In additional, how often did MP Sharon Hodgson look into the matter? With ‘I have heard too many times from distressed customers’ she now becomes a valid target as well, so can we get specifics please? We see her visibility again in the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/2eefe9e0-b04f-11e8-99ca-68cf89602132). Now it is the other way around. Here we see ‘Viagogo sues Ed Sheeran’s promoter for ‘fraud’‘, that different candy, is it not? We setting given here is: “Viagogo claims that Stuart Galbraith, the founder of Kilimanjaro Live, “duped” fans during Ed Sheeran’s 2017 tour by setting up fake “Viagogo booths” outside venues to attract people who had bought their tickets from the site. These tickets, which Viagogo argues were valid, were then confiscated and fans were forced to buy new ones“, an interesting ploy, the question becomes was the law broken by Viagogo? We are also informed by the Financial Times on the action with “Viagogo said that it has refunded the fans who bought from them and has sued Mr Galbraith in a court in Hamburg with further legal action likely elsewhere“, so basically Viagogo refunded the customers, which is the decent act and will seek reparations elsewhere, which is (as far as I can tell) the decent business oriented act to follow. We are also given “senior executives from Viagogo are due to be questioned by British MPs about the site’s resale practices. Mr Galbraith is also scheduled to appear before the MPs“, this implies that the resale practice is looked into, yet it also quite clearly implies that no law is broken. Here is where we see the Labour MP mentioned as ‘Sharon Hodgson, the Labour MP who co-chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse‘. The question is not on merely ‘Ticket Abuse‘, the question is how the seemingly given title of abuse applies. This is a market of selling and reselling, until the law clearly makes reselling illegal, we see a setting that someone found a niche for margins and applied its options here.

So basically we could go to the setting that like most Labour minded ‘officials’ she too is full of (the ess and tea word) and goes with “Google needs to take action in order to protect consumers, and I look forward to working with them on this in the very near future“, to which my slightly too emotional response is: ‘No you stupid fishmonger, you either set the law correctly, or get out of the bloody way!‘ I agree it is not really diplomatic, but the entire setting is just a joke, the way I see it (at present).

You see, Viagogo (on their website) give us: “About Viagogo. Buyers are guaranteed to receive valid tickets in time for the event. If a problem arises, Viagogo will step in to provide comparable replacement tickets or a refund. Sellers are guaranteed to get paid for the tickets they sell and fulfil on time“, to me that is clear valid and acceptable. Yet in all this, I cannot find any setting where the CPS or the DPP is in a setting to investigate Viagogo or prosecute them, so were there laws broken? Now consider the commercial other path. If it was clearly illegal, or shunned Viagogo would have let’s say 200 tickets to any event and that would per gig be 20,000 in revenue lost if no one buys them, the question then becomes why not, and how can you continue this business? It would go into administration quick enough.

Is it illegal? That is not stated anywhere, and we need to acknowledge that it is either illegal, or it is not. So instead of working with this optional digital market provider, we see mere brazen outrage, whilst there is no clear legal definition. I also acknowledge that when we look at Product review, it got 1.3 out of 5, which is actually really bad and normally in eBay terms that score is close to a death sentence, yet they are still around why? I also acknowledge that we see reviews like ‘I could go online right now to Ticketmaster and purchase better seats for a much lower price‘, added only yesterday (what a coincidence), there are also the reviews that should lead the police towards the investigation of defamation against people like ‘Annie’ giving us: “People beware: do not bug from these people as the are comming a criminal offence called FRAUD. You buy tickets off them to get falsified tickets and are useless, get to the event an cannot get it. They send then to you a few days before the event“, so if Annie (optionally a fake FB account) cannot validate that opinion with facts, her opinion becomes defamation, if it is true and validated it becomes a path for prosecution (that was simple, was it not?). There was also a very positive review there, as well as ‘Delivered what they promised and got me out of a jam‘ from a Verified Customer. Now, I get it, there will be happy and unhappy customers in every field. My initial feeling is that a 1.3 of 5 does not instil me with any level of trust, yet their own site gives clear settings, clear business settings and the people acting against Viagogo do not go to the law, do not adjust the law, no, they come crying at the Google office front desk. Pardon my French, but how fucked up is that?

We cannot disagree with the Guardian quote: “The letter has 24 signatories, including a host of MPs, trade bodies and associations from the worlds of sports, theatre and music. Sporting bodies that have signed include the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football Union and Lawn Tennis Association“, yet there is no mention that the law is getting broken and that had to be the first action. So why is there exactly this anti Viagogo activity? Margins? Mere legal profits? The fact that someone with Harvard and Stanford goes to scam options is just too weird at times (it does on a rare occurrence happen), or is Eric Baker merely an intelligent person who found an option, an opportunity and took that to make nice coins on the side? Is that not the setting that matters?

You see, I still see idiots all over the field having no clear idea on how to properly use digital marketing, the fact that there are those who do know what to do and they can turn opportunity into profit, which is a valid choice, it is in that setting we see the valid response from google with: “The CMA has been looking at the business practices of ticket resellers. We await the conclusion of these inquiries and we hope that they will clarify the rules in the interests of consumers. We will abide by the rulings of these inquiries and local law“, that is the actual setting and it took me 35 seconds to get there from the moment I read the title (before even finishing reading the Guardian article). It is about local law. It might not even be about the inquiry. The inquiry has no legal bearing until set in law. I is that same setting that the Daily Mail needs to be investigated, as we were treated only moments ago to: “‘Worse than a street tout’: Viagogo charges woman £3,000 for two £87 tickets to take dying father on a bucket list trip to the Last Night of the Proms“. The question becomes, why are the DPP and the CPS not all over this? We now DEMAND to see the evidence. If Viagogo was part of that, then against their own settings we might have a clear setting of law breaking, if not, then the public are entitled to see the Daily Mail to be prosecuted on all fronts. there is no ‘press protection‘ here, not in this current setting, but at that point it is more likely than not that people like Labour MP Sharon Hodgson will suddenly be too busy to look at issues around anything involving ‘the freedom of the press’ and holding the press accountable for their actions, that is how is tend to pan out.

You see, this scenario is out of what, all these accusations at almost the same time, with the Daily Mail ‘hiding’ (or is that using) a kidney cancer case, with tickets merely 2 days old, it is all happening at the same time. If that is the case and the DPP and CPS are not all over this in 5-10 hours, the UK has a much bigger issue, a systemic failure of the law on several fronts and that needs to be addressed now, whilst the first question is not merely: ‘was the law broken?‘ The issue then instantly becomes ‘How many parties have been negligent in all this, and what are their names?

At that point, when that is proven then Labour MP Sharon Hodgson has a case that demands here to be in the limelight, not before and we better get to see some real answers, not some lame ‘we will look into the matter and make proper changes‘, because at that point, I will seek out Eric H. Baker myself, seeking some funding to set up digital campaigns of my own, demanding the removal from office of Labour MP Sharon Hodgson as she is seemingly too unfit for public office. I can get such a campaign started for a mere £35 a day, giving that campaign optionally 20-30 thousand views a day. With all the profits he is making, he might be up for that, did you consider that path Sharon? And in hindsight, in this inquiry, how much time and effort are you taking in regards to StubHub, Ticketmaster, Seatwave, CTs Eventim and Ticketbis? Did any of those raise flags?

You see, I do not oppose such an inquiry, I do not oppose that he law is adjusted making reselling of tickets to be illegal, and that is a valid step to take. Is it not weird that those steps cannot be found? Oh, there is that. You see the setting we get with: “UK law stipulates that the re-sale of concert tickets is not in itself illegal. But it is an offence to sell tickets in the street without a trading licence“. So there we see the first part and if Viagogo has that, we also see the flaw in the entire setting from the start. So when we consider that setting the law was a first requirement, we see the absence of the DPP and CPS and also a first indicator that Labour MP Sharon Hodgson is unfit for public office. That did not take long, did it?

I loved the article by Rob Davies. It made me question parts and that is always a good thing. Yet, when we see all this, we need to ask the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football Union, Lawn Tennis Association, UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher and Music Managers Forum chief Annabella Coldrick, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre a simple question: ‘Have you sponsored a bill to make reselling of tickets illegal?‘ If not: ‘Why not?‘ Those are the questions that matter, but are we seeing those questions asked and answered?

It was that simple and crying at the front desk of Google was merely a waste of everyone’s time, plain and simple. I am not friend of Viagogo, I would have personally never gone there, not for one or the other, just because I would have taken the path of the actual venue location and the official venue website, and in all this is it not interesting that when we are confronted with the Daily Mail part: ‘Hannah Maturin, 30, wanted to take her frail father John to see the Last Night of the Proms‘, that she decided to allegedly pay £2959 over £174 and decided not to call the Royal Albert Hall first with her dad being in such a state? It is what I would have done. And we see all this news at the SAME TIME? How is this level of orchestration going for you? So much common sense absent from so many players and no one is asking the question: ‘Why is that?

#ItMustBeMe

 

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Imperitos idiot

This is a view I have had for a while, it is a view that I have advocated on more than one situation, yet business remains silent, deaf and as they hide in ignorance they are limiting the options they have, in the future and in an acted decimation of one’s own future. The information in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/23/us-intelligence-services-surveillance-privacy) shows a title ‘Facebook case may force European firms to change data storage practices‘ that questions certain elements. The quote “a court accused America’s intelligence services of conducting “mass, indiscriminate surveillance”” in the first paragraph is the act of alerting, but is that all?

The Case C‑362/14 Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner is the calling entity here. A request for a preliminary ruling.

Let’s take a look at the elements. We see at [25] Mr Schrems lodged a complaint with the Commissioner on 25 June 2013, claiming, in essence, that the law and practices of the United States offer no real protection of the data kept in the United States against State surveillance. That was said to follow from the revelations made by Edward Snowden from May 2013 concerning the activities of the United States intelligence services, in particular those of the National Security Agency (‘the NSA’).

[35] Nevertheless, according to the High Court, the revelations made by Edward Snowden demonstrated a significant over-reach on the part of the NSA and other similar agencies. While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘the FISC’), which operates under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, (18) exercises supervisory jurisdiction, proceedings before that court take place in secret and are ex parte. In addition, apart from the fact that decisions relating to access to personal data are taken on the basis of United States law, citizens of the Union have no effective right to be heard on the question of the surveillance and interception of their data.

This all goes back to ‘the revelations made by Edward Snowden‘. I have forever had issues with the ‘revelations’, too many holes, too many issues that from an IT perspective are a given no no. In addition, it assumes a level of ‘openness’ within the alphabet group that does not exist. Such openness has never existed, yet the press and many others have been very willing to blindly accept the events of Edwards Snowden, yet the data was never made bare, the data is filtered and was largely ‘stamped’ as complex, as too dangerous. Yet proper analyses of the data was never made by any person that could be regarded as trustworthy. For now, to underline what comes, I will give you this quote “An intelligence operation is the process by which governments, military groups, businesses, and other organizations systematically collect and evaluate information for the purpose of discovering the capabilities and intentions of their rivals. With such information, or intelligence, an organization can both protect itself from its adversaries and exploit its adversaries’ weaknesses“, the source is not important right now, the impact will be discussed, yet before I do this I want to continue the other elements I started.

Now consider [224] where we see “In addition, the Commission expressly acknowledged at the hearing that, under Decision 2000/520, as currently applied, there is no guarantee that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be ensured. However, in the Commission’s submission, that finding is not such as to render that decision invalid. While the Commission agrees with the statement that it must act when faced with new circumstances, it maintains that it has taken appropriate and proportionate measures by entering into negotiations with the United States in order to reform the safe harbour scheme“.

Now consider the following thought by transforming the quote: ‘there is no guarantee that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be ensured‘ into ‘it will be certain that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be unsuccessful‘. The issue is that moving data will open up a massive amount of dangers, data instabilities and data security hazards. Too many players within the EEC and other places all want their fingers on the data so that they can get a foothold of power. It is THAT simple in my opinion!

All these nations wanting access to data, setting up corporations, all trying to make a quick buck whilst during political manipulating, the security of our data will be available to anyone offering 39 pieces of silver. Before you start listening to people with nice PowerPoint presentations and long winded explanations with considerable non liability asterisks on how this is so not possible consider the following events (at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/). Ashley Maddison might be the most sensual one, but also the most embarrassing. In that same light we can see 145 million records of EBay, Sony, Heartland with 130 million and that list goes on for a long time. So the last thing I want to see is our data in the hands of some ‘seemingly’ ignorant individual, whilst completely unexpectedly and totally against ‘protocol’ the data will make it into the hands of third parties. Now I go back to that other quote, which I will paraphrase: “An intelligence operation is the process by which businesses systematically collect and evaluate information for the purpose of discovering the capabilities and intentions of their rivals and exploit the weakness of its adversaries“. This is what I foresee. This is why the crying over the NSA, whilst handing over health data to parties too unprepared to properly protect that data is more than just a big farce. Now we need to look at two sources. The first is the Guardian on the 28th February 2014 (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/28/nhs-data-will-not-be-sold-insurance-companies-jeremy-hunt), which gives us “Health secretary to provide assurance that confidential information will not be used for commercial insurance“, now Wired three days before that reported (at http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-02/25/insurance-companies-buy-medical-records) “Details relating to hospital admissions from 1989 to 2010 were given (for an extraction fee) to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The 13 years of data covering 47 million patients were given to the professional body to help them ‘improve accuracy in pricing’ of insurance“, yet all insurance is commercial, so as data goes, it is out there and too many players want a slice of that pie. Forcing more personal data into any open direction is beyond dangerous. That part can be constructed from http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-health-care-insurers-seek-big-premium-increases-1433206078. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is looking to raise rates by averages of 29% or more. In Pennsylvania, Highmark Health Insurance Co. is asking for 30%, according to proposals submitted by insurers for the year ahead. Around the country, some of the main market leaders are looking for double digit increases“. What do you think in all honesty will happen when they get the option to make healthcare unaffordable to all or unaffordable to some. Data will become the compromise and that danger is a lot larger when it is in the hands of ‘other’ third parties whilst the law is unable to deal with the issues at hand. The US has some strict rules in place that barring national security cannot be broken. Now we see a push towards fields where these levels of security do not stringently exist. What do you expect will happen? And healthcare is not the biggest slice of it all, just the most visible one.

In all this there are issues on both sides, yet at the core the pushed fear for governmental access is a fake and an illusionary one and it is shouted the loudest by people who have a little too much to hide. Hiding for the sake of their ego, their acts and/or the need for continue or renewed satisfaction of greed. Yes, I agree that my view is polarised to some extent, I agree that my view has flaws, but I approach it from a clinical side, whilst the others are all hiding through the shouting and claims set behind the emotions, the push to fear.

In all this I have yet to see the cold light of evidence that the alphabet group is disserving the people. The link to movies and conspiracy theories, nearly all of those claimants with their own agenda, sometimes badly hidden. Yet, in that light, is my view not too conspiracy theory set? I ask that of myself too, because without that consideration it is just a viewpoint. It will remain a viewpoint no matter what, yet consider that when you seek ‘NSA transgressions’ you find very little acceptable news events, with this I mean events that are of a decent level of report. When we look at data transgressions from other parties, that list is growing at an almost exponential rate and the size of the transgressions seems to be increasing, shifting data all over the place is not my first idea of safety.

Is it your choice?

When you decide and it goes wrong, you only have yourself to blame and as I see it, you lose all rights to complain when (not if) it goes wrong.

The next iteration of our lifestyles that what happens over the next 2 generations will all be about data and who has control over it and who gets access to it, which is not freedom.

 

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