Monday, January 07, 2013

When Privacy Goes out the Window

Common sense?  Maybe not!  But it is hard to believe that anyone, short of an infant,  would assume that, when you put something on social media, it is confidential.   Not even close.  Assume the other way around.  When you socialize information, privacy goes out the window. 

So why would anyone want to publish something that is self-incriminating?   Yet that is exactly what happened, according to Tech Crunch, when an 18-year old man from Oregon boasted on Facebook about driving while under the influence:   “Drivin drunk… classic, but whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry."

Two people read it and tipped off the police about the post.  They identified his car and matched the damage to the damage on two others cars he hit.  “And, with their powers of deduction…bam!  Handcuffs. “  And an arrest.

Hopefully, this report will deter his peers and others contemplating driving drunk or committing any other stupid, illegal act. 

While, on the one hand, the impulse to publish a confession is admirable and enabled catching the perpetrator; on the other hand, where do we draw the line from a privacy standpoint?  Or have many of us simply lost any need for privacy? 

Do you really want your every move distributed globally?  Today what you say can be published, whether you do it or someone else does.  Regardless of how you may feel, think before you communicate.

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