Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Privacy laws & the web

Getting to know you

“♫ ♫ ♫ Getting to know you . . .
Getting to know all about you . . . . ♫ ♫ ♫”

So goes the old song, and in today’s age of instant access to information, it’s easy to find-out all sorts of personal details about people. This article notes that web vigilantes and psychopaths will now publish personal details about private citizens with alarming frequency.

The ability to “shame” people on the web can be a powerful tool for stopping illegal behavior, but it has a huge potential for abuse by the millions of weirdo’s and perverts on the Internet.

Sicko scum love the web anonymity

Me, I check-out everyone my daughter and son hangs-out with, and people are surprised to find-out that many services can deliver details about your most embarassing and shameful acts. They say that everyone has "skeletons in their closet", and they are now accessible in just a few minutes.

All of your arrest and jail records are
instantly available as public information

You will learn about their drunken debacle at college, their late-payment of loans, their illegitimate bastard child, and complete details of every time they were arrested (even if they were not convicted), right-down to a parking ticket!

Today you have to do extensive background checks on all job applicants to avoid lawsuits for "negligent hiring", and you must do "due diligence" to ensure that the new employee does not pose a risk to other employees.

Bill Gates and I lived in Albuquerque at the same time, and even though I only met him once (in a social setting, not work related), I just love his APD mug shot for unpaid parking tickets. For a small fee, you can now get mug shots of private citizens, it’s all public information:

Billionaire Bill Gates mug shot for unpaid parking tickets

Anyway, in the course of hiring employees, I’ve found out appalling details about “respectable” folks with all sorts of awful behavior, from criminal acts to heroin possession.

Dirtbags - Fake military heroes

I work with computers, and I’ve worked with “information consolidators”, companies dedicated to gathering all public records, to put everything at your fingertips. I recommend services such as US Search to quickly find-out embarrassing details about friends and co-workers. In cheap and fast and you will be AMAZED at what you find!

Anyway, read my notes on revealing personal information.

For details on your recourse for having your personal details published on the web, see the book "Web Stalkers".