Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I'm tired of it.
You likely are, too.
When it happens, it's hard to know what it really means. It's hard to even know what's really happened.
What makes it worse, however, is the phraseology employed by companies when it does happen.
We've all become painfully used to data breaches.
Companies routinely lie about them. Only when pressed do they admit they knew about them months -- or even years -- ago and hoped they could get away with saying nothing.
Yet, when they finally do something, they can't even be bothered to appease customers with innovative language.
TechCrunch's Zack Whittaker thought he'd trawl through all 285 data breach notifications in California. State law requires that companies publicly and officially register a breach.
What Whittaker found, however, is that in one-third of the cases, the very same 7 words appeared:
We take your privacy and security seriously.
It's tempting to think this the greatest, most bare-faced lie in contemporary business history.
Too many modern companies thrive on the collection and exposure to others of private data.
The more data, the better.
They sometimes wrap it in the claim of offering personalization.
Yet when they mess up -- which they all do because few ever bothered to invest much budget in cybersecurity -- they fall back on the same phrase.
I wish they were honest. A start would be:
We really messed up here. We didn't pay enough attention or spend enough money on keeping your personal data safe.
This is a big mess. Here are the five steps we're taking to make sure it never, ever happens again.
My favorite would be:
We know we're supposed to say we take your privacy and security seriously. The truth is we didn't. This is a huge lesson for us and we hope that you can forgive us for being arrogant, careless moneygrabbers.
Instead, they trot out the same nonsense and hope it'll soon all go away.
Please consider the fact that Whittaker found 285 data breaches.
Of course, there sometimes variations on the same tired, insulting theme.
Last December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai finally deigned to answer some questions from Congress.
Among his answers:
Our mission is to protect your privacy.
Surely, this is one of most mendacious claims in world history.
Google has never had as its mission protecting people's privacy. If anything, it was more interested in selling people's privacy to the highest bidder.
Yet still he trots out a version of the same old nonsense.
It's our fault, of course.
Too many of us have come to not care about our privacy at all.
Until someone steals our identity and money, of course.