This morning over on TechCrunch, Erik Schonfeld reminds us that today is "Data Privacy Day 2009" and exhorts subscribers on the inherent dangers of disclosing one's private information in exchange for participation in social media.
As a Community Builder here on ActiveRain, one of the constant issues of concern that I field through our Help Desk Ticket System is over thoughtless comments or inappropriate information recklessly published on our platform, and the often times difficult challenges of getting those comments/information removed in a timely fashion.
Even when we manually remove this information from our network, it can still take additional time for the search engines to update their systems, and for the data to eventually disappear. All the while, such words remain dangerously exposed to the entire world.
In today's 'litigation-happy' 'lawsuit-frenzied' society, we need to exercise exceptional care and caution in what information we publish to the digital record. Whenever legal proceedings ensue, court-ordered confiscation of computers is typically one of the first actions pursued, followed by a tracing of digital footprints, i.e. e-mails, browsing habits, and social media involvements.
The new-found cash cow for 'ambulance chasers' is the unauthorized use of copyrighted images/pictures. There are "professional" photographers who upload literally thousands of photos to the Internet, and then lie in wait, hoping for some unsuspectiing 'rube' to come along and copy/paste them to their blog/website. Shortly thereafter, an invoice from their legal counsel shows up in your mailbox to the tune of several thousand dollars!
May "Data Privacy Day 2009" remind us to think twice about what we contribute to the digital archives, and that our words/actions can have a very long and lasting impact.