Invasion of the Privacy Statements

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

From Computoredge

Invasion of the Privacy Statements

October 12, 2001


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Dear Valued Customer:

We here at the Internet Inc. would like to welcome you to our new company. We know that you may have felt apprehensive to learn that your internet provider, credit card company, bank, 17 favorite web sites, and nearest Chinese take-out restaurant have all recently merged into one corporate entity. But there is no need to worry. The dossier of personal information we have collected about you is safe in our hands. You can trust us.

What follows is our new and updated privacy statement. Please sign it and return it to our office as soon as possible. While this document may be confusing at times, the cornerstone of our privacy policy is this: under no circumstances will we ever release any of your personal information to a third party, unless we can make good money doing so. That's our promise, and we're sticking to it.

The Internet Inc. assures you that we will never read any of your e-mail unless our employees happen to think it looks interesting.

We may occasionally place cookies on your hard drive in order to make your shopping experiences more enjoyable. Think of these as simple gifts of our love to you. In addition to enhancing your shopping, these cookies also allow us to know exactly where you go online. This is an unfortunate side effect, which we deeply regret.

If, in the future, we come up with a more advanced way of tracking your surfing habits, we promise to give it an equally frivolous name so that it sounds perfectly harmless.

We reserve the right to call you with special offers on stuff you couldn't possibly want at 9:30 a.m. on your day off. If, in your sleep-induced state, you accidentally join our Lawn Care Super-Saver Club for the low annual fee of $79.95 billed conveniently to your credit card -- even though you do not actually have a lawn -- we will unfortunately have to hold you to that binding contract.

Your credit card number is very important to us. Under no circumstances will we divulge it to any third party. That would mean letting someone else cut in on our action. We will not do that.

We know about those porn sites you like to look at. We promise not to do anything with this information now, but we just think you should keep this in mind before complaining to the government about our latest price hike.

We are aware that you probably don't feel like reading all of this before signing it, and we want you to know that that's okay. Don't worry. There isn't anything really important in here anyway. Just sign it, and everything will be fine.

Members of our technical staff may sometimes study the information in our databases and phone certain customers asking for a date. We are sincerely sorry about this, but these are lonely computer geeks. What do you expect?

We promise that the tiny people that we sent to live inside your computer are not spying on you.

We reserve the right to sell any personal information we might have about you to other parties. However, if your surfing habits are so dull that nobody wants to buy your personal information, we will unfortunately be obligated to charge you a nominal service fee to recoup our losses. This fee can easily be charged to your credit card, whose number we already have.

We also reserve the right to define "nominal" in any way we please.

Finally, we here at the Internet Inc. understand that your privacy is very important to you. We fully respect that privacy, and we promise that we're not just saying that like all those other Internet companies you've been with.


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