June 9, 2013

Privacy: it doesn’t matter anymore!

Filed under: meatspace — SiKing @ 9:30 am

Eric Schmidt‘s now famous quote: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” is sometimes used as justification for invading people’s right to privacy.

Personally I have nothing to hide, and overall I think I lead a rather dull spartan life, which suits me very well. So I have nothing to worry about, right?

It is becoming common practice when you apply for a job to have to go through a background check. And in this brave new world we do everything instantly and online. I have recently applied for a volunteer position, and so was asked to submit to a background heck. Love the word “submit” in that request, BTW! After I paid them $35 – yes, not only am I about to get anally raped by some Internet leach, but I have to pay them money for the privilege – the results came back: irrelevant.

There are more and more of these so called services springing up. And they are for profit companies. For a for profit company it makes perfect business sense to differentiate yourself from your competition – to come up with something new. My report came back with something like two-dozen variations of my name. I am pretty sure there is only one of me, however there are now over 20 other people attached to my SSN. Now I am one of the lucky ones, and my name is not very common, however for people with common names this has to be a friggin’ nightmare. But at least the company that did the search did cover themselves in the EULA by stating that if any of the information they produce is wrong, it’s not their fault!?!? If one of my so-called aliases has a brush with the law, that could potentially mean the end of my career. There is no recourse for me to have my information removed from their system, because that would be contradictory to their business model. And even if there ever comes a day that I could legally demand my information be removed, there is no delete button on the Internet!

This isn’t a problem with privacy, this is a problem that someone who only cares about the bottom line is holding my future in their hands.


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