Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Private is Public
When most people talk about online privacy, it ranges from concern about strangers being able to watch your virtual movements to the more specific. A few examples? Wanting searches about health conditions and... um... personal interests to remain private. But what I upload about myself to the public domain-- this blog, for example-- is a personal decision with personal consequences. Just for the record, that is not my family to the left.
When I search my own name, my LinkedIn profile comes up close to the top. You can learn where I went to college and the names of some family members. You can see a few pieces of art I've made. My Facebook profile is restricted to friends. If you dig a bit deeper, there are some slightly more personal items but thankfully that picture of me hiking through Utah as a high school sophomore is no longer up. I don't think anyone accessing my online persona would feel like they walked in on me in the locker room.
What do I do with the information that someone emailed me two days after his father passed away? When I read that article, I had two thoughts simultaneously: I have invaded this man's privacy and why is he working. Watching a 2 minute home movie of another stranger's children was a much more positive experience (so cute) but it felt uncomfortable because I certainly was not the intended audience.
At the same time, these 10 minute searches can reveal extremely useful information so I am glad that I take the time to do them. Being more savvy about what is up in the cloud for all to see is up to the individual. Some might say that I shouldn't be doing these searches if I know the outcome could potentially put me in an awkward position.
Posted by Diane at 9:11 AM