privacy in a blog world
Privacy is a real concern for all of us in this age of identity theft. Privacy is also a real concern for those with health issues. Doctor blogs like Revolution Health and blogborygmi (cf. USA Today’s Paging Dr. Blog: Online discourse raises questions) are starting to write about a behind-the-scenes look at the doctor and patient interaction, with supposed fictionalization and composite profiling to obscure personally identifiable information.
Recently someone asked me to remove their name from my website, with concern for identity theft. I promptly complied with that person’s request. And, I wanted to learn more about the dangers of blogging and identity theft, and wrote back:
I recognize a rise in identity theft abounding; would you counsel that every blogger should stop blogging and quit using real names?
That person replied:
In my opinion, I do believe blogging should live on as it is freedom of speech. However, I would probably use an alias if I were to blog in the future.
I don’t think my question was answered. I woulda thunk that if this person really cared about identity theft and public safety, s/he would have warned other bloggers about not using personal names in their blogging. But my reading of this seems to suggest that it’s more of a personal preference for non-disclosure privacy. After all, there are plenty of people who are in the public eye, about whom there is plentiful personal information online that could be used for social engineering and identity theft.