Is Privacy our Right or Our Privilege?
I do not have the privilege of keeping my personal information private. Granted, I gave away some of that information willingly when I joined the internet social media phenomenon. However, nowadays I am not privileged to make those choices. Did I join facebook and provide email address and personal information to the site? Do I provide personal information to other users on my page? Yes. Nowadays, however, I do not have a choice. How can this be, you ask? Simple.
Girl walks into a bar.
“Are you hiring?” The girl asks.
“Of course. If you go online to our website and click on the employment tab you will find the link to our application process and once you fill that out and send it in, our hiring manager will review it.” The employee responds.
“Can I give you a resume now? Can I speak to the manager in person?” The girl asks.
“Um. No. You can only fill it out online. That’s the way the process works.” The employee answers.
“Okay. Thank you.” The girl responds.
Okay, so this may not happen at a bar, per se, but it does and did happen to me quite a few times. Doesn’t it show how industrious I am that I WALK INTO THE ESTABLISHMENT to apply? I mean, wouldn’t you weed out some applicants if you simply had a policy that each and every applicant had to walk in the door to apply? I blame regulation….
So, back to my privacy issue. I go online to fill out the application Short of my social security number (and some applications want even that for “background checks” I am giving out any and all information regarding who I am, who I was, and who I will be. Information on the internet is always there somewhere. They may claim that my privacy is retained and that they won’t use this information in any other way except in the application process but there is still the possibility of information leaks… Never heard of them? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Identity theft is an issue but I’m not privileged enough to be able to guard my personal information like I guard my valuables.
Not only are there the direct website job applications that ask – and require- personal information but also websites such as Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, Linkedin.com etc that you WILLINGLY and PUBLICLY proclaim certain personal information tidbits. Who’s invisible now?
But it’s all worth it, right? To get that job? Figure me this, I have applied to hundreds of jobs (mostly online) and some in person. My information is floating all over the internet like plastic in the ocean. No matter how much I try to clean it up, the ocean is so vast and the particles so small it is an impossible task. The plastic is there FOREVER! What do I have to show for all this eternal lack of privacy? I have several lengthy excel sheets detailing all my efforts trying to find a job. I’ll tell you what I don’t have: a job.