The Information Age and Full Disclosure

A friend twittered the following information from a news story earlier today:

“Personal disclosure..Pew Internet & American Life study ‘Digital Footprints’ 60% not worried about how much info is avail about them online.”

A few days ago, there was news reportage here about personal privacy on the Internet. According to someone’s study, an even larger percentage of people were not surprised nor distressed about the amount of information about them on the Internet. In fact, they expressed the opinion that anything you want to find out about them is findable via the Internet or through some other means. Let’s face it, we essentially live in a fish bowl.

The only thing that troubles me about the information that’s available is the reliability of the source. There are some places that will not bother to get accurate facts nor check the data for accuracy. In those cases, you gather a great deal of information that isn’t true and then act on the false information.

If that means you don’t hire or choose not to associate (or any other factor relating to being involved with the person in question), it means you’ve created your own loss. To the extent you treat them with distain, you’ve doubled the loss; once the truth is revealed, there is a huge question about whether they will be forgiving and willing to align theirself with you and your efforts.

And if their unique talents would be just the icing on the cake for whatever effort, the loss is even greater.

But the Internet is full of information. Indeed, the Internet makes information more readily available than it was before. But as with all things we use, as we gather information, we need to be careful about what we find and use. It’s important to fact check to determine legitimate information, puffery, libel.

And after all of that, we need to determine whether all that we see fits the personality, Furthermore, people will have taken a stance at one point in time, based on available information and the fever of uninformed youth unaware they still need additional information and/or forgetting to ask the probing questions that move us closer to the heart of the issue. Ten, twenty years later, with more information and seasoned reason, their perspective may have drastically changed.

But it’s all there, available and waiting to be found, as well as how we determine is the proper way to find and use it.

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