I just came across two privacy related news articles. The first is a rather worrisome practice perpetrated during job-interviews: requiring the candidate to log in to Facebook and have the interviewers scroll through their list of friends, updates etc. Note that some schools take this one step further for their athletes, by requiring them to “friend” school personnel (the friended person has access to all “friends-only” posts).
Why would anyone agree to that, you ask?
It’s actually the core theme of the project I’m currently employed on: EPRIV — enforced privacy. This is the archetypical case of someone requiring you to violate your privacy — and being in a sufficiently powerful position that most will comply. I mean: you do want that job, right?
Think you stand a chance if you don’t log in to your Facebook, while the rest does? N
Note: your prospective employer will say you do: “5 out of 80 candidates hired, refused this” — see link. But the point is not whether it is mandatory, but whether it is perceived as mandatory. As I wrote: “Think you stand a chance?”.
The aim of my project is exactly to prevent this type of coercion attacks. Admittedly, we focus on other examples, but a logical continuation of this project would be to investigate such matters. Anyway, highly interesting. And scary to see that reality is moving faster than we can come up with solutions.
The second news report proposes a scale to rank privacy incidents on. In my humble opinion: idea good, execution hopelessly flawed — I disagree with most of the (classifications of) examples stated there. I guess that’s actually the reason such a thing didn’t already exist: it’s not easy to determine an objective scale of the “harm” of privacy violations — at least not one that usually “gives the right answer” (that is: violations perceived as worse are usually rated higher). It seems we still have some ways to go before we achieve the objective part of this. Hmmms… interesting :)
PS: In case you’ve never heard the term before: Free Speech Zone.
This is a (usually fenced-off) area, in which people disagreeing are allowed to speak their mind. While there is law-enforcement monitoring them.
Gee, where did I hear this before? (yep: Nobel peace prize winners, one and all). What a staunch continuation of “The Land of the Free”.