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Perhaps people in general are not aware of the fact that practically everything on the Internet is captured or recorded at some point. Not just by the CIA or some other government agency, but by search engines like Google and Yahoo.

This is going to be a huge problem as youngsters move into the workforce, because the very first thing employers do (in the U.S., at least) is Google the name of a job applicant to see what you've been up to on the network. Every blog entry, stupid comment, and anti-government (or pro-government) editorial you ever posted is recorded forever, for everybody to see.

Further, with a name you can find an address and phone number and birthday. With an address you can find an aerial photograph and a map and what you paid for your house. With a birthday you can find the names and ages of your kids. If you've put your picture into Facebook (like most college kids have), it's out there forever. Virtually everything that's in the public domain is out there already.

The way I look at it is that we live now in a global village. In the Middle Ages, say, when travel was difficult and most people lived in the same place their whole lives, there wasn't really much "privacy" because everybody knew everything about you. This whole concept of privacy is a new phenomenon that grew up with the advent of big anonymous cities, and is artificial. There isn't much legal backup you can rely on to protect yourself.

So, just be aware that if you're typing it on your computer, there's a good chance that everybody in the world will be able to read it forever. Future bosses, divorce lawyers, spies, thieves, you name it...

by asdf on Fri Apr 7th, 2006 at 08:03:54 PM EST

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