I am the (so-called) English expert in our department at the university. Unfortunately, I have been living in Germany for so long that sometimes I encounter words that make perfect sense to me in German, whose connotations are clear to me, but when asked for the equivalent in English, I falter.
Today, the dicussion was about the idea of "gläserne Bürger/Kunden." This is a term used to describe the situation with "payback" systems, where companies collect data about what films we've purchased, how many times a week we buy TV dinners, and what our favorite brand of beer is. My first thought was "transparent," but this doesnt quite capture the fragility that is associated with "glass."
The information being collected by these customer cards/payback cards: is it really being used for OUR benefit? "Gläserne" consumers are not only transparent for the companies/government/whoever, they are also at their mercy.
I searched on Google for "glass consumer" and did find several hits, but of course that also included hits for consumers of glass products.
Is this term "glass consumer" in use in the (native) English speaking world? Or do you tend towards "transparent," as I did? (And what about all those connotations...???)