Monday, April 17, 2006

Permanent Records

My column in today's Diamondback focuses on the downside of the permanent digital archive that is the Internet. Through blogs, AIM profiles, and sites like Facebook, not to mention the ubiquitous Google search, you can basically unearth a college student's entire life. Employers and law enforcement are already relying on such techniques, and there could be trouble for us if the person on the other end doesn't like what they're seeing.

From "Permanent Records":
Some time in or around the year 2030, I am sure I will be awakened one morning by the ringing of the hologram phone. The president — whether it will be Jenna Bush or Chelsea Clinton, I don’t know — will say to me: “Jay, I have bad news. You can’t be Fed Chairman/Secretary of War/Supreme Overlord after all. The opposition party’s got some dirt on you, and you’ll never make it through the confirmation hearing.”

As I sit there, dealing with my crushing rejection, I’d wonder what did me in. Was it the away message back in 2014 that said: “Skipping work today. At the baseball game”? Did my uncle violate U.N. sanctions by selling pop tarts to the Libyans — and then brag about it on his MySpace? Or did Sen. Chuck Norris threaten a filibuster over my membership in a Facebook group that claimed he is Jack Bauer’s girlie little sister?
Click here to read the column.

1 comment:

ABT said...

Very true; I've watched the occasional news article about that kind of "internet profiling" with growing concern. It could be answered of course with one of my life philosophies, "don't be judgemental." But sadly people will always judge. So it comes down to closing up and never doing anything being personal on the internet. I don't see how we'll get around it.