Wednesday 15 December 2021

Generation "left behind."

Yesterday "Google" changed its "signing-in" system from a "user-name plus password" to what they call  a "two stage" system which involves confirming having received a telephone call.  I received warning  about this a few days ago and didn't worry about it as I'm used to similar system with my bank: I sign in to my on-line account with my user name and password, they telephone me, I pick up the receiver, input a four figure code which has appeared on my screen and, hey pesto, I'm in. 

 It's a nuisance but I'm pleased they're being careful to prevent ill-behaved  people from pinching my money.

 What I had not realised was that the Google system requires  not an ordinary run-of-the-mill telephone (now called a landline) but a mobile phone, or, maybe even worse, a smartphone.  I do not use a mobile phone and, although i have a smartphone  which I use mainly for the excellent Google Translate (from English into German and vice versa) when I am directed to  "motorolamoto e6 play" I have no idea what this is or how to gain access to it.

 For the moment I can use  Google, my Gmail account and this blog, but should I need to "reboot" or otherwise accidentally switch out of Google I have no idea how to get back.

In summary:

1. Why is Google so thoughtless as to introduce this new system just ten days before Christmas, a time when most of us do more distance communicating than at any other time of the year?

2.  Why does Google not offer a back-up system (or a continuation of the existing system) for those of us not equipped with the latest in modern technology (and without grandchildren to help us out.)?

I've come up against a similar "brick wall" in trying to get a COVID passport, which I may need over the New Year period when I shall (possible lockdown permitting) be visiting friends in the London area and a pass may be needed to gain access to the theatres for which we've booked (or even to get on the train?)

These passports can be obtained on line, but here again, the possession of a mobile phone is presumed, along with the assumption that you've told your GP its number.  Fortunately there is a back-up system: a printed certificate can be sent by post.  

I've requested one, but they warn it will take up to  five days to come.  Well and good if they keep to their prediction, but if they deal with it at the speed with which  requests for asylum are processed, I may be still waiting for it next Christmas.

I recognise  that, compared with the desperate situations of families left stranded in Afghanistan or desperate to reach us from across  the channel, these matters are trivial, but it is annoying that both public services and private enterprise are allowed to  assume that everyone is equipped  with the latest technological fad.

 I, and many like me, are not so much "left behind" as not wanting to bother to keep up with what is largely trivial.  We have better things to do, not least lots of books to read.  We need protection. 


Post script added 22nd December

Thanks to Nigel for comment below.  For some reason my site will not allow me to respond to comments with a further comment (whom do you contact to try and put that right?) but hanks for your suggestion  Nigel.  As it happens my printed vaccination certificate arrive in the post this morning, so whoever is operating the system is clearly on the ball.

1 comment:

  1. Peter, There is an option to create a PDF file for the vaccination certificate, which I have used and printed out. I'm not sure why this option doesn't seem to be usually mentioned - only placing a letter request if you want a hard copy. I haven't tested this anywhere but I can't see any reason why it shouldn't be valid.