March 2, 2000

So much for privacy
   by stacy <>

Two people sent me this URL today which warns against thinking of email as a private and trustable medium. It's an interesting article, and I want everyone to go read it before you continue reading this editorial.

You read it, right? OK. Now, doesn't that article say a lot about the PFFT!! qualities of privacy these days? I use email as much as anyone. It's how I talk to my friends, my co-workers, even some relatives who speak another language. I can read/write their language, but I can't speak it, so telephone conversations are out of the question, but with email, we can have something resembling normal family relationships.

Now I'm thinking, that's not safe. We live in a very litigenous society (at least in the USA). I might step on somebody's lawn someday and they could sue me for it. I don't like the idea that they could subpoena the emails I send to my coworkers or my best friend because the law is applied so liberally in civil cases regarding the "paper trail."

So what can one do? Delete all email as soon as it's received? That's a little extreme, although I know one person who does that. I don't like to think of that as my safest option. I don't like to think about privacy at all, actually, since my life has mostly been very open. My friend who is already so extreme about his privacy has been encouraging me, rather strongly, to think about these issues more and consider my privacy more.

I want to say PFFT! to him, and I have, but maybe he's got a point that I shouldn't PFFT! at so quickly.

Published: March 2, 2000
Editor: stacy

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