A Note About Personal Info On The Internet

General Ebel is disappointed.

I am really, really disappointed, in fact, that I even need to post this. Fortunately it has nothing to do with me and my personal data, but seeing a friend deal with this has seriously damaged my already dwindling faith in human wisdom.

You see, someone thought it would be a good idea to create a Wiki page for this friend. Fine, sure, whatever. They also thought it’d be a good idea to post their full legal name, current hometown, spouse’s name, previous spouse’s name, and date of birth, among other things. Without asking for permission first.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever called your bank’s customer service line, but this is exactly the kind of information identity thieves would love to have handy. Not to mention the fact that some people might have legitimate concerns for their safety due to stalkers. I mean, it’s not like we don’t have our fair share of socially aberrant nutjobs in these geek circles, right?

Using the excuse of “well I could research online and find this stuff anyway” is just acting like a slimeball. Personal data leaks out, it happens, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to post it on a wall for all to see. It’s the same excuse the TSA gives you about the cancer-causing X-ray scanners: “you’re already exposed to more radiation just by being in the plane.” No shit, all the more reason to not make things worse.

So do yourselves a favor: Make sure you’re only posting personal info online that you would feel comfortable finding written in sharpie on a men’s room stall.

Do others a favor: Don’t be a dick, don’t post their personal information without getting permission first.

  • Margie

    We must all be careful of what we share online.

  • Margie

    We must all be careful of what we share online.

  • K.

    Wow! What would have been the harm in the poster asking the friend if they could create the page? Talk about taking liberties…

    “Make sure you’re only posting personal info online that you would feel comfortable finding written in sharpie on a men’s room stall.” Totally agree!

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