Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Privacy in the age of expectation

First, a nod to everyone without microscopic vision: I'll leave my posts on "normal" size. It looks pretty suspect during the edit, but I must admit that the posted font size is rather diminished.

I haven't written the post yet, quite obviously, but I'd like to throw this out to my two or three beloved readers for input while I'm sharpening my knives. Due to the nature of people I'm (online) friends with: if you're reading this, please offer even some quick input. I exist in a relatively rare place. Most of my younger friends are all about diving right into Facebook, MySpace, et al., and my most my older friends are horrified by it. I'm both - horrified and an accessory to my own implication.

The question is thus: What about privacy? Should prospective employers be able to find out about my drunken driving three-plus years ago? (I'm disclosing it here, on the web, so I give up rights to whining later for myself, at least.) Should I have the right to refuse access to pictures of me drunkenly peeing on the dorm lawn from these same perspective employers - and should I be safeguarded from sanctions for protecting my privacy if I do so? (Note to perspective employers: there are no photos of me relieving myself -- that I know of.) Outside of the financial sector - and since we're having an open discussion here, let's talk about the financial sector, too - should perspective employers be able to run my credit rating?

As an incentive to discussion, I'd like to throw this little tidbit out here. At a presentation while I was in college some months ago, a bank rep said that crimes of dishonesty, e.g., theft, misrepresentation, were automatic disqualifiers (per law) to working at their business. But the rep also said that some potential blotches were perhaps OK: PAULA (Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age, in Iowa), house parties, public intox. Where should we draw the line? And, furthermore, should there be a difference between a ticket for keeping a disorderly house be taken the same as Facebook or MySpace photos of me doing so the same?

Bonus update: Honesty requires me to throw out this tidbit. Closest confidant, best friend, and former girlfriend Casandra alerts me that the discussion I wrote of betwixt father and I occurred on Christmas evening, not Christmas Eve evening. Twenty-four hours, not so long ago.

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