My class leadership was over the first chapter of Morville’s book, Ambient Findability. Not only did I actually find it interesting but I wanted to keep reading, which is very rare with schoolbooks. Ambient findability means we can find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime and it is just at our fingertips whether it’s our computer or phones. Morville talked about being able to be found through your phone and where the privacy line should be drawn. I wanted to go beyond the reading and examples Morville gave and I thought of the positives of findability. I thought of the plane crash that involved the two Purdue students, Tom and Tony. Well, I know Tommy and when I listened to the 911 call that was released, I couldn’t help thinking, “Why can’t the dispatch woman find his exact location? Why does Tommy need to run over a mile in critical condition when we have all of this technology?” Now, situations like this are the exception. People want to be easily found when it comes to emergencies. However, people can put themselves in a dangerous situation using the technology they desperately cling to in case of trouble…
Have you ever posted on your Facebook or Twitter, “Can’t wait to stay out with my friends all night!” or even, “Spring Break 2011 in __ days!” Unless you have major privacy settings and are only friends with the people you are going out or on the trip with? You’re fine. But, wait… you’re saying you’re friends with over 800 people? Do you talk to each one of them everyday? Do you know they’re not closet-kleptos? This is what our society takes for granted. Privacy. If someone sees you’re going to be gone for a week, your house is fair game to them. So, go have fun on spring break and then you can come back to an empty house. Hope you enjoyed that week of vacation because you’re going to have to work overtime to get enough money to replace everything. So, where do we draw the line of findability? Well, we need to be careful and keep things secret until after your adventures where you can then say, “Spring Break 2011 was the best ever!” or “Had a great time with my friends all night!"
Emergencies and businesses are the exception. What about kidnappings? Are we going to plant a chip in all of our children? Will our credit cards become bar codes that will be planted in our hand and we will just have to wave your hand in front of a laser to buy our groceries?
There really is no way to decide where to draw the line for our privacy, but we can do what we can to keep ourselves safe. Don't post when you'll be out of town, remove people you really aren't friends with or don't talk to, and don't upload pictures that show where you live.