Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where's the privacy in our conversations?

Some of the best products come from our frustration with something. In similar fashion, some of my best blog posts come out of a frustrating experience.

I don't claim that this is one of my best blog posts, but I have noticed something very frustrating that I do need to share.

I emailed someone about some information and revealed "a secret" in it. Minutes later, I saw part of "my secret" on that person's blog. I was flabbergasted. Even after repeated inquiries asking that it be removed, the blogger hasn't done so.

Amanda, formerly of Rocketboom, chose to copy and paste all her email correspondences between herself and Andrew that detailed the coming of the demise of their relationship.

When did email - a private correspondence between 2 or more parties - become subject to public display? Why do people think it's okay to publish private, intimate information that's shared in an email and throw it on a blog, discussion forum or other public online venue?

What then is considered private in the online world?

I guess I have to spell things out everytime I email someone, huh? Put a disclaimer somewhere in my email that says:

"the contents herewith are for the recipient's eyes only and are not intended to be republished or reproduced in any resource, whether moving or inanimate, digital or not, without the express written consent of the person who originated the content."
A journalist did this to me the other day. He emailed me to respond to one of my blog posts. He revealed "the truth," something that went on behind the scenes that resulted in his article being written the way it was. While the information was juicy, I didn't publish it to my blog because he started his email with a "don't publish this, but..." warning at the top.

It's sad that our emails and instant messages intended for only a few eyes person can appear in a public forum such as a blog, discussion board or other venue where dozens of eyes are gazing at your private information.

Where's the privacy in our conversations?

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