No Responsibility

Here’s a recent situation which set my teeth on edge:

Mackenzie Croxford-Cook, 14 and from Deal in Kent, died on August 3 this year after entering a fairground in Pencester Gardens in Dover before it opened to the public.

He and a number of friends gained access to the fun fair and used the dodgems and trampolines before the teen was trapped and fatally injured on a ‘superstar’ machine.

So far, so good:  irresponsible / lawless teens go exploring, start fucking around on equipment that in normal times would be responsibly operated and controlled, and find out the ultimate cost of trespass and said behavior.  Sad, but teenagers do this kind of stuff all the time (although not always with a tragic end), and we all feel for the grieving parents of said hooligans etc. etc.

Here’s what blows the cuff off my arm:

The inquest into his death was due to conclude on Monday at County Hall in Maidstone, but area coroner Katrina Hepburn adjourned the case so further information could be gathered.

The coroner would like to question ride operator, Luke Shufflebottom, as well as Dover District Council which owns the land.

Ummm what for?  Was said funfair locked up?  Were signs posted which said, “Warning: Equipment Should Not Be Operated Except By Fairground Employees”, or something like that?  If so, then we all move on — if not, then fines can be issued and so on.

Ms Hepburn wants to have ‘all of the information’ needed to both conclude the inquest and potentially issue a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report, if necessary, due to any failings or shortcomings which could have contributed to the death.  She explained: ‘Mackenzie and his colleagues had access to this ride outside its hours of operation with such tragic consequences. I believe there is missing evidence looking at the fencing of this ride and questions about access to this location for these teenagers on that morning. Mackenzie was trapped in a fairground ride but I don’t have evidence about how that location was being fenced and monitored at that hour in the morning.’

Errrr no.  You’re the fucking coroner.  Your responsibility begins and ends with determining the cause of death.  If there’s any kind of culpability to be sought, that’s actually the job of the police to determine — assuming they’re not too busy tracking down and arresting perpetrators of hateful online texts, that is.

And excuse me, but it is not the responsibility of the fairground operator to have security constantly patrolling the (locked) premises just in case a bunch of thrill-seeking, irresponsible punks happen to come calling.

I’m heartily sick of criminal behavior being excused because there weren’t a thousand warning signs posted or a security guard stationed at five-yard intervals just in case some scrote feels like breaking the law.  A fence, a locked gate and a warning sign should be all that’s necessary to prevent you from accidentally getting hurt.  After that, you’re on your own and if bad things happen it’s your fault, and your problem.

Some people, such as the above coroner, are no doubt going to disagree with me, but I don’t care.  They’re wrong, and I’m right.

Comings And Goings

This story pissed me off, for all the usual reasons:

“For years, TWC has deceptively used its Weather Channel App to amass its users’ private, personal geolocation data — tracking minute details about its users’ locations throughout the day and night, all the while leading users to believe that their data will only be used to provide them with ‘personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts,’” the complaint reads.
The data serves no weather-related purpose, but was only collected in order to allow TWC to turn a profit, the complaint reads. The data was sold to at least 12 third party websites over the past 19 months.
The Weather Channel app has about 45 million users, according to the complaint.
TWC intentionally obscures this information” in a 10,000-word privacy policy “because it recognizes that many users would not permit the Weather Channel App to track their geolocation if they knew the true uses of that data,” the complaint goes on to say.
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction prohibiting TWC from continuing to collect and sell the data, along with civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.

Just this week, I went through a store (Forever 21) instead of using a mall entrance because my car was parked closer to the former than the latter.  And on leaving the mall, I went back out the same way.

Needless to say, when I got home I had one of those “personalized”, annoying little requests:  “Tell us about your shopping experience at Forever 21” with a link attached.  Being annoyed, I went there and wrote the following:

“I walked around your store TWICE today, and not once did anyone from your staff offer to help me.  In fact, given that the people I THINK were employees were dressed like customers, it was hard to tell whether there were in fact any employees in the store at all.  Certainly, most people in the store were standing around chatting to their friends and ignoring everyone else completely, so there was no way of telling.  It will be a long time, if ever, before I visit Forever 21 again.”

And every single word of that is true.  Yeah, it’s possible the wrong people will get punished.  I don’t fucking care.  If enough people turn this data snooping around and use it against these “marketing” bastards, maybe they’ll stop using it.  If not… did I mention I don’t fucking care?

And to return to my original gripe:  I deleted the Weather Channel app off my phone, just in case and just because.

A spokesperson for The Weather Company — which operates the Weather Channel – provided CBS2 with the following statement:
“The Weather Company has always been transparent with use of location data; the disclosures are fully appropriate, and we will defend them vigorously.”

Fuck them and their transparency.  I hope the lawsuit costs them many millions, and they go out of business.  And I wish I knew which dozen organizations bought TWC’s tracking data so that I could boycott them too.  If anyone knows who they are, please share that information in Comments.