Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There is nothing private about going online

In September of 2008, Christine Stoddard, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada gave a speech about the use of social networking sites and their implications in regards to personal privacy and employee rights. If you work in Canada and have a social networking profile, you should read her speech.

Though I agree with many points in the speech and found some of the stories enlightening, I have long believed that if you have used a password to enter a site--as opposed to a Google search which leads you to information--you have violated a person's privacy. I also feel that people who use the sites to troll for information about people in this manner should be suspended from the site. I feel that more openness, as the commissioner describes is best:
If you do monitor the sites employees are looking at and how much time they spend there, you should tell them.
The simple work-around for my suggestion is when your friends hi-jack your personal information from the site and post it on a freely available site on the Internet. Good luck getting the ISP that hosted the site to give you the information to take the poster to court. There are protections for stealing people's personal property, or attempting to extort from people by taking their personal information, but we don't seem to have figured out yet how this will work online--possibly because we don't recognize it as personal space.

I do feel that it violates my charter rights to demand that I stop associating with certain (adult) people on a social networking site, or to track any information about my religious or political affiliations, or deny me a place online to "hang out" with friends. In case you aren't sure what those are--or you're not a Canadian--lo,
  • freedom of conscience and religion;
  • freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  • freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  • freedom of association. 
I think we need to start thinking of the Internet in terms of a space, a forum, for assembly, as opposed to an amorphous "out there" that seems to have nothing to do with our lives or freedoms.

Oh, and don't be a jackass. At least not where people can see you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I found a flaw

Keeping up with the bailout/meltdown coverage, Alan Greenspan testified at a congressional hearing about the practices at the Federal Reserve--which he presided over for 18 years--that could have contributed to the meltdown. Essentially, Greenspan says that by trusting banks to regulate themselves, he believed that they would show more astute self-interest than living from quarter to quarter. They did not and the system melted like a candle burnt at both ends.

Yahoo's Tech Ticker is a bit kindlier to Greenspan than the NYTimes article. Bill Moyer's Journal also carefully dissected Greenspan's testimony in light of Greenspan's intellectual allegiance to Ayn Rand. Yes, what you read can make a difference--not only to you, but many, many others.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jobacle Professional Resume Writing Challenge

If you have ever considered hiring a professional resume writer to craft a resume for you, you may want to check out Jobacle's Professional Resume Writing Challenge. Andrew, the [evil??] mastermind of Jobacle has offered up his resume to 12 professional resume writers and is posting their makeovers, including his own draft, over the next few days. As of Friday, he was into day seven, so you can see 7 different versions of his resume and check out the new arrivals.

I think he has a lot of experience with recognized companies on his resume already, as well as some great experiences, so his resume is a standout (unless it arrived coated with Dijon, or he was in a slush pile of Rhode Scholars, he would probably get an interview,) but his tips are good and the challenge will answer the question: is it worth my money and time to hire a resume writer?