Saturday, 28 February 2009

Thought for the Day: Privacy

What is privacy?

Society seems to have lost the concept somewhat. You see, MC has a confession: in his real life he has no Facebook page. Nor anything on MySpace. Never been on Bebo. Never used LinkedIn. He has, initially accidentally but more recently purposefully, ensured that there is no interweb super highway footprint of his life.

Why, I hear you ask? Well, I’m not on the run for major crimes. Nor am I living a bigamous life. I just like my privacy. I don’t want to have images of me out there floating around in cyberspace for every forgotten friend to find. For every past enemy to pore over. For every client to view. For every competitor to twist. I just want to be left alone. I like anonymity.

But I appear to be in the minority these days. Every picture of one’s drunkenness is posted on one’s personal page. Every car accident, holiday photo, all new births, ‘fun times’ etc are issued for anyone and everyone to view. Sort of like placing a camera in your living room, switching it on and then letting anyone tune in.

When I challenge my younger friends/relations on this voluntary surrender of their privacy they say: “Oh I don’t MySpace anymore – so last year – and on Facebook you have to be my friend to view me.” Er, no actually. I had to just once be your friend to capture some of your life and save it and then it’s no longer controlled by you it’s controlled by me.

Anyhow, the term friend is somewhat suspect. One of my younger relations – a young man about town, shall we say – has about 8 zillion Facebook friends anyway. How does he know what all of them will always do with his past?

Yesterday, a teenager was reported to have lost her job because she moaned on the internet that her job was boring. My own company indeed did not offer a job to someone wanting to become a PA with us because as soon as she got home from the interview she blabbed about it on her MySpace page. How could we trust someone with sensitive information if she was happy to download her day onto the internet? (As standard procedure now, we check all prospective staff’s internet footprint to see what they say about themselves etc. Big Brother? No, just sensible precaution).

It is an intriguing concept that we now so easily and readily give away our personal details. It is changing the nature of our society. Most probably for the worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Cragsbury.

You have a great blog, and write intelligently.

Just one (minor) quibble with this post, where you write:

As standard procedure...

Tautology, of course. Procedure, by definition, is "standard".

I'll put my coat on...