I stumbled upon an article by Kevin McKenna that was an interesting read. It was published last Sunday (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/05/google-right-to-be-forgotten-kevin-mckennas-own-confessions). The headline caught me at first stating “Don’t hide your dark side from Google. Much better to tell all“, which works out really well for Google, but what about the person? In his ‘journey’ as a starting Facebook user, this quote seems the strongest “And I realise with mounting horror that this is how real people with normal lives interact with each other and that it is I who am out of step once more. So I fear I may soon have to conclude my Facebook experiment before I alienate that dwindling band of those who still regard me with some fondness“, but as I see it, the article never ever goes anywhere near the issue why people want things to go away. The reference “we discovered that prominent people are beginning to deploy some arcane European privacy legislation to force Google to ‘forget’ about their historical misdemeanours“, sounds funny enough, but is that it? The following reference “American financier Stan O’Neal who helped drive his bank to ruination in 2007 were ‘deleted’“.
This sounds all fun, but is Google paying Kevin for this article? You see, Mr McKenna does not get within one mile of the actual issues, the dangers that Social media brought upon us all (many were likely never a consideration when Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea to begin with).
We get the following from Forbes “But there’s another good reason for checking out a candidate’s Facebook page before inviting them in for an interview: it may be a fairly accurate reflection of how good they’ll be at the job” (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/03/05/facebook-can-tell-you-if-a-person-is-worth-hiring/). Here is the kicker: the workplace is riddled with people not really that great in sizing other people up, a fair chunk of them in HR and upper management. I have been around for a long time, and these people look at ‘presentation’. I have met my share of managers with ‘fuck all’ (pardon my French) idea of what actually needs to be done, like most sales people they will have a nice PowerPoint, and when reality hits, they will dump it on the people who will end up doing the actual job, which often enough is not them. In addition, we see recruiters who have no idea how to be a recruiter. I used to have one that never had anything for me and actually send ME the resume of others asking if I had a job for them. Really? These people will seek you out on Facebook and judge you for what YOUR FRIENDS will post on your page?
Mr McKenna has spent absolutely no words in that regard. To those youthful young undergrad recipients, Facebook could at this point be nothing less than a career death sentence; even if those around them know that those people will work their asses off getting it all done. That part is never on Facebook and they lost out on a job. Better stated: that corporation lost out on a person who would have been one of the best Returns On Investment EVER!
CNet adds a little more (at http://www.cnet.com/au/news/facebookers-beware-that-silly-update-can-cost-you-a-job/), here we see the headline “Study shows that companies have rejected 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 because of something the person shared on social media“. CNet has graphics too, so check it out. It goes in the same direction as Forbes, but there is one quote that I have heard about, but never experienced, or met anyone who directly experienced it “In January, six states officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts“.
These people should reply with the fact that many agreements state the following “You must not reveal your password and must take reasonable steps to keep your password confidential and secure“, the very fact that personal privacy is transgressed to this degree is questionable, or is it?
In USA Today (and many other papers) we see the statement “Burglars use social media to target homes” (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2014/01/03/social-media-identity-theft-home-videos/4248601/). It is not a new ploy, it has been around a little longer than that, but what is new is the linked approach that is slowly becoming visible.
Although at present, no ACTUAL events are currently documented, other than from the less reputable journalistic sources (Daily Mail and the Telegraph). There is more and more talk on how social media will influence your insurance claims. If you tweet your events, as might your children whilst on Vacation in a place ‘far away’, your local homestead might be missing several pricey items when you get home. Burglars keep their eyes on those who boast travel. It only takes one jealous school ‘friend’ for the parents to miss out on TV, Jewellery, computers and so forth. There is more and more talks on how insurance policies might not cover it in the near future and that mandatory alarm systems as well as spectacular premium rises are linked to these events.
So there is a massive need from many people to be forgotten all over the place!
A more long term consequence tells us (at http://healthissocial.com/healthcare-social-media-ethics/the-healthcare-insurance-impact-of-your-social-media-graph/), that social media goes so much further than that. As a data miner I have always seen this, but many are only now seeing the dangers. This article voices is perfectly by stating the following two thoughts:
“What if health insurance companies realized that with whom you associate may correlate to your health and thus risk?” and “What if your online behaviour indicated (directly or indirectly) your health behaviour – either psychiatric or otherwise?“, so not only could your health care cost spike, in some cases you might not be able to get coverage as you are considered too much of a risk factor. So a person’s unadulterated need, to speak out ‘Suicidal and standing on the edge‘, might in light of their upcoming ‘healthcare premium to be’, seriously consider taking that one final step at that point.
There is one quote I saw that covers the dangers of Social Media that we should all mind “Behind every successful student , there is a deactivated Facebook account“. The issue for us all is that there is genuine truth in that statement (or status). Not because of what the student does, but because of what others do with the data and with the image incorrectly reflected. In one account I took a look at his page had references to ‘Hash Brownies’ and ‘Funky mushrooms on his bacon and egg roll this morning’. The man is a Vegan with an utter dislike for chocolate (I tend to get his chockies around Easter). So, will he see his premium rise by insurances in the future? Because SOMEONE said so?
So Mr McKenna, The ‘right to be forgotten on Google’ is not a strange concept at all, in this day and age it might be the next essential thing if we are to move forward in an affordable way.Because at this point, there is every indication that our cost of living could quite soon be linked to social media data. The worst thing is that mined data just is, and what is taken for ‘granted’ often never is, that is the one part that no cleaning pass in data mining can provide for, whoever claims it can, is in my view clearly lying.