May 23, 2012

People White Devices Like

If you don't own an iGadget, you probably aren't aware that Apple recently added a new security measure for everyone with an iTunes account: the whitest, most bourgeois security questions in the world.

Yes, now if you forget your iTunes password, you can retrieve it by answering such universally applicable questions as:
Which of the cars you've owned has been your least favorite?
In which city were you first kissed?
Okay, I will grant that if you do own an iGadget you are probably more likely than the general population to (a) have owned multiple cars, and view them as enough of an identity statement so as to have clear opinions about the best and worst of them; and (b) to have moved away from wherever you were living when you were first kissed (which is the only way that this particularly security question would be of any use to anyone).

But I still find it breathtakingly short-sighted and oblivious of Apple not to have realized how stupidly culturally specific these questions are. Just because hipsters are your key market, that doesn't mean you should go out of your way to alienate anyone who is not a hipster. (Also, N.B., hipsters ride bikes, they don't drive cars.)

And even if you don't buy my oversensitive, politically correct BS—and hey, I don't necessarily blame you—let's at least take a minute to acknowledge how awful these are as OBLIGATORY security questions. What if you've never owned a car at all? What if you don't remember
What was the first album you owned?
Where were you on January 1, 2000?
I mean, Jesus, I was in bed hungover on January 1, 2000. Is that an option? And what if I type "in bed hungover" when I set the question but am feeling less flippant when I need to answer it and just write "Edinburgh"?

Oh shit, I just gave you the answers to my security question.*

Also, I appreciate the irony in complaining about oblivious white hipsterdom in a blog post about how terrible my iTunes security questions are. I also appreciate the irony in appreciating the irony in my complaint about oblivious white hipsterdom. If I am missing any other ironies, please let me know.

*Not really. It's "hugging the toilet."

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