Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My preference was for the hotel lobbies to be busy so my passing would go unnoticed. If the lobby is empty they watch you pass, the staff that is, your heels clicking on the marble. Maybe the men are simply leering, as they would for any attractive woman, perhaps the women were noting your clothes and shoes as is our wont. But would it be reasonable that they note that while your clothes say office girl the height of your heels say something else? A crowded lobby is better.

Going through my stacked up reading over the weekend was a NY Times magazine article The Web Means the End of Forgetting. Much of it was a stern reminder of the importance of severely editing yourself on social network sites, both your own profile and items about you mentioned on “friends” pages. But this caught my interest.

“For example, the Facebook application Photo Finder, by Face.com, uses facial-recognition and social-connections software to allow you to locate any photo of yourself or a friend on Facebook, regardless of whether the photo was “tagged” — that is, the individual in the photo was identified by name. At the moment, Photo Finder allows you to identify only people on your contact list, but as facial-recognition technology becomes more widespread and sophisticated, it will almost certainly challenge our expectation of anonymity in public. People will be able to snap a cellphone picture (or video) of a stranger, plug the images into Google and pull up all tagged and untagged photos of that person that exist on the Web.”

For gentleman’s companions that should cause discomfort. It’s not hard to imagine a future friend or prospective employer doing such a search and amongst the photos we don’t care about are some that we do. I’m not sure of a defense against this, but a thought is to host your photos on a different server than the one hosting your website and when you are through with them, rename them and move them preferably off the internet or at least a non-searchable service.

In the short term one aspect of social networking that companions should avoid are location, sharing services such as Foursquare and Google Latitude. Being tagged entering a hotel when you've told others that your going home to nurse a headache does nothing for discretion.

Oh and a shout out to Kath at It’s f*cking hard to be classy… and a big congratulations on the arrival of her new baby. Lucy is beautiful!



Anonymous Ken said...

Discretion? What's that??

3:46 PM  

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