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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaning toward the Dark Side

The information/communication age has a dark side


To err is human, to forgive divine.

That very Christian sentiment is all but lost in today's society, where a Google search, a Lexis-Nexis or any number of other computer searches will turn up information and in many cases “dirt” on your next door neighbor going back to their birth.

It’s no longer a question of the value of the information, or even the date.

We are use to and even seek out news about politicians, attacked with quotes or actions or political stands from months, years and even decades before. Any wrong step or old viewpoint can and will surface in damaging ways.

How many of us realize that when we apply for a job, a loan, a home or membership in a new organization, our background is data mined, and any information that they find can and legally must be taken into account in decisions about our future, our life.  They can be sued if they ignore information they have asked for, and therefore seen.

KNPR’s Talk of the Nation interviewed the author of “Delete”, a book about our data histories and information trail. In the course of the interview a woman called in who was denied employment because many years before she had posed for inappropriate photographs. A man found out his employer had a history of fraud and scams, so he quit his job.

What information should be kept and shared?

How can we keep or lives from being brutally public?


Add to this the reality that most home computing will in the near future be done on super fast machines in far away parts of the globe with only an interface at home or a portable devices, similar to an iPhone or laptop, and access to private information may become every day and easy for most everyone.


Today the most advanced access involves expensive paid subscriptions to services such as Nexis-Lexis or other highly intrusive search software and corporate services. But in the future access may be easy and perhaps free for everyone from any computer or interface device.

1 comment:

amber said...

This is absolutely a dark side to the communication age. How someone conducts their private life should remain PRIVATE. Especially when it come to the work place you should only have to answer for your qualifications, work ethic and the like. Not only that but I hate that anyone can find my address, phone number, or any other information on me online. That information should only be available one way... me giving it. I suppose everyone should just consider their every move as available for public evaluation.