The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

Posts Tagged ‘privacy

The Yin and the Yang of Facebook

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For every yin, there is a yang. For every good, there is a bad. It is the natural balance of life.

Facebook and other forms of social networking are just the same. Sure, they offer a networking database to connect old friends to new friends and colleagues to associates; but there comes a point when we must become aware of just how much we blend our personal and professional circles.

Hot off the AP wire is an article that tells a story of a Canadian woman who lost her benefits because of pictures she posted on her Facebook page. However, this is not the first time such an instance has been brought to the forefront.

Teachers have been warned, fired, and harassed for similar issues in the U.S. as well. It has now become an issue of privacy and professional respect for a person’s personal life.

Employers have been given the means to track the lives of employees while outside of the workplace, as millions of users participate in the social activity unaware.

There are privacy settings that users can set to limit who can see what, but more than half of users pay no mind to them. Even then so, if you become a “friend” of a co-worker, you become susceptible to infiltrations of privacy.

When I created a Facebook account years ago, it was to keep in touch with friends who went away to school. Now, it has become a pop culture phenomenon that spans across multiple generations.

I’ve gotten add requests from aunts, uncles, cousins half my age, my mother, my crazy ex-girlfriends, co-workers… people outside of my social circle who find a need to be a part of it, to condone or disapprove of my friends and colleagues and any tidbit of my personal life.

While I am conscious of privacy settings, many of my friends are not. They post pictures of me without my approval and tag me in them so they are added to my page.

Who knows who will see those pictures of me? It’s not that difficult to dig for dirt on somebody if you know how to finagle your way through the network. Who’s to say that employers don’t hire specialty web surfers for HR purposes.

Pictures your friends may post of you half drunk at your birthday party may keep you from getting that job one day. You might not even have a Facebook account, but you are still susceptible to this public spy network.

Written by cor24leone

November 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM

The Digital Takeover

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I’m not so sure I know what to think about the Kindle. I can’t argue that it seems destined to take over the publishing world, turning paper products to digital display, but what are people saying about it?

I read an article yesterday by Benjamin Dangel, who argued against the Kindle. His main focal point of his argument… he likes the story of the journey a book makes in its lifetime. Really.

As I was reading the article, I remembered back to learning about societies of the past rejecting new technologies to save face and prevent change. But this kind of change can actually provide better means for aspiring authors.

The publishing process is long and drawn out and creates so much waste and lost revenue. Because of this, publishers are more particular with who they select to publish. In turn, you need an agent to sell your idea or your product to the publisher just so they can turn around and sell it to the rest of the world.

With the Kindle, you could theoretically cut all of the middlemen out. The author and the digital publisher survive the shift and less money slips through the cracks and into the hands of people who do very little lifting during the process.

The only thing that irks me about the digital account accessible online is that of the privacy issue. Last year, readers who purchased George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm had their digital copies deleted from their account and were reimbursed $1 for the inconvenience.

If that’s not Orwellian enough to make you uncomfortable then you’ve obviously never read any of his books.

The fact that it was Orwell’s books that were accessed and taken away from consumers just makes the story more coincidental and relevant to the privacy issue. The way I see it, I don’t like the idea of the government being able to access my library and remove books that they deem a threat to society.

Only time will tell how this technology plays out… until then, I’ll stick to the traditional paper format.

Written by cor24leone

November 19, 2009 at 4:00 AM

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