by Ariel Silverstone

No Digital Footprint Left Behind

Aug 12, 20092 mins

Privacy in a changing world - biometrics, laws, and reality

People and kids (which are also a kind of people, but I wanted to be specific), listen to me, and listen “good”:

There were, in the entire history of mankind, only Three (3) innovations relating to communication via writing:

1. The Cuneiform as a writing system;

2. The Press, as in Gutenberg’s; and

3) The Internet


What does that mean to you?

 Just as the first allowed communication over distance (you didn’t have to shout) and over time (you didn’t need to be there), so the Internet allows much longer range (we will see about time) and language communication (think Google Translator);

Further, just as the second allowed mass distribution of text and lowered costs (in man-hours) of communications, so the Internet allows rapid, and, at times, automated communication. That fact allows rapid copying, storage and global knowledge.

When you take the two paragraph above and add the simple facts that

a)   There are no uniform (and sometimes not at all) Privacy policies around and;

b)   Google (and the Internet Time Machine, and many, many back up servers world-wide) does not forget

You get the following truism:

Anything you post on the Internet, be it text, mail, email, voice, video, audio, diagram…. will be available for the entire foreseeable future for everyone to see.

        (I call that the “sure you wanna get that tattoo?” quandary)

As you can see from here:

Facebook post gets worker fired


Can your Facebook or other electronic profile cost you a job offer?

And here:

How criticizing your company on Facebook can cost you your job

People DO look. The Internet DOES have a memory. 

My friend, Rob Housman, wrote an article about that where he discussed “Digital – Too Much Information” or, as he called it, DTMI.

Let me ask:

When you graduate from school, and you just might, do you want your prospective employer to really see you beer-bonging or stripping? Does everyone, ever, needs to know that you thought Taylor Jonas (names reserved) is cool? How about your undying love for Macs? Does Microsoft really NEED to know that?

So… be careful out there….  It is the wild wild west all over again. And will be for a few more years (100 or so).