Interesting thing happened into the gym…
As gym memberships go I have one of the cheap ones. There isn’t a jacuzzi, a swimming pool, or other fancy amenities. It’s just the typical meat market for the cheap skate athletic type. Lately I’ve been just trying to actually work out in one and get past those flaunting their six pack abs with their “y’all know you want some of this” attitude. So it came as a slight surprise that as I badged into the facility the desk clerk told me I didn’t have a picture on file for my account and would I like to do one now. “Well actually, no…”, which led me into explaining my thinking.
I began by explaining that I don’t want my picture connected with my name out on a network, whether it’s the internet or whatever. The desk clerk tried to reassure me that this was for their internal network and would be private, but I know better. Nothing is really private, and we’re all a step and a half away, if you will, from giving out more information about ourselves than we’d really care to if the circumstances were different. It may seem innocent enough, providing pictures of ourselves to businesses and especially Facebook, but police, government agencies, and others with nefarious intent, have a way of intruding into the lives of people to accomplish their ends. Elmo’s Rule #2 is “Trust no one but God.” Think this is all much ado about nothing and just silly paranoia?
The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.
Periodically I search my name on the web just to see what I can find about myself. If I find information about myself too easily, I work to get it off the web. And I work not to have a picture of myself with my identifying name. That just makes it too easy for someone to physically find me as a target. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter anymore and won’t be again in the future. Privacy concerns and breaches are just too risky. I discourage anyone on Facebook from providing pictures of themselves, particularly pictures of their children. The compromise of having a child’s picture with their name on the web is, in my view, too potentially damaging.
People think it’s just innocent enough when someone asks for a picture. The problem lies not just in that one person asking for the picture, but what happens with that picture beyond that person to whom it has been given.