online ethics

It's 2009, and since I am not partying like it is 1999, I have been going through tons of magazines I subscribe to but did not have time to read in the past year. This morning I read the September issue of Scientific American on Privacy and Security. Actually, not a very interesting collection---unlike the recent special issue on Darwin which is a must-read. But, in any case, it got me thinking. Yes, it is true that the concept of privacy is changing in the XXI century. More and more people, especially teenagers, put all sorts of private material on their facebooks and the like. Privacy experts (and parents alike) warn that such lack of privacy can incur a hefty price when the time comes to apply to universities or for jobs. Indeed, the Internet does not forget, and we all have heard of the cases when good candidates get turned down due to the tabloid nature of their online profiles. Of course people should probably be more clever about what they put online, but shouldn't the rest of us also update our behavior? I mean, while we can eavesdrop on conversations in restaurants, for instance, it is not polite to do so. In fact, society looks down on peeping toms. So why is it acceptable for an admissions or hiring committee to look into a candidate's private profile or blog? The fact that we can, does not mean we should. Of course I am not naive to think that some people won't, but we need to update our online ethics to look down on people who peek into people's online personae without being invited to do so.

P.S. I am in several admissions and hiring committees, and never look at the facebook profiles or personal blogs of any candidates, unless they mention them on their application materials.

Oh well, some people do abuse what the technology has offered to us. It just doesn't happen in real life but in virtual life as well where people tend to be more rude since they can't be seen. Sometimes it gives me the reason to find something else to do than play and grind wow gold

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