Saturday, November 25, 2006

Privacy

It's funny how little comments can stick with you. Over the holiday weekend, Grammy asked if we ever worried about putting our kids' pictures and names on the internet, because of "predators".

I've never given that much thought. Perhaps I'm naive but I just can't imagine anyone taking the time to track down some random child. I know my kids are gorgeous and brilliant, but what could follow from someone reading this blog?

But then Anthropapa pointed out that all of our favorite parents' blogs use pseudonyms for themselves and their kids. So I'm wondering, what level of privacy is necessary? What are the assumptions behind the privacy of information on the internet? What are the actual risks?

Any thoughts, O my loyal 2-3 readers?

5 comments:

(un)relaxeddad said...

Tricky. I've gone the 'anonymous' route, by and large - I don't post photos of dudelet (not ones where he can be recognised) and use less-than-serious made up names for me and my family. Partly, it's out of over-protectiveness about dudelet and partly about privacy in the unlikely event anyone at work goes looking for my blog! The question it prompts in me (and which I'm about to go off and write about!) is what I do and don't choose to write..

zygote daddy said...

I started out a lot more freaked out about anonymity, but after a while it kind of fell by the wayside, so that by the time Hawkes was born, I just decided to use his real name. Of course, part of my using his real name was that I was too tired to think up a good pseudonym for him when I went to post right after the birth. Ah well.

Maybe I'm being foolhardy, but it's kind of weird for everyone in my extended family to be reading, and using fake names.

MaGreen said...

we don't use fake names. or a fake city. sometimes i think we should, though how do you reverse what you began? i guess i'd just do it without announcing it. but then i'd have to go back and change all my old posts.

just last night i was cringing at the amount of lila photos i have on flicker. i think i'm going to privatize all but the three that aren't private.

Helen said...

I don't use my son's birth certificate name, but I use his nickname, which is the name we use at home anyway. I wasn't going to post his photos, then I decided I would because family overseas kept asking me to. Occasionally I worry but I don't think the risks are that high. We're probably more at risk from the nutcase who keeps following us through the park, but that is another story. Maybe there will be a cut-off "age" when I stop posting photos of him. I'm not sure yet...

szilvi said...

Well,
then I stick out completely. I use our real names AND I put up photos. It is obvious that we live in the capital, obvious on which side of the river Danube we live, and it could be puzzled out which Waldorf school our kids go to.
In a way I am like you: I refuse to be paranoid, refuse to put energy into fears.
Well, that's not true. But I am more afraid to let the kids ride their bikes in the city, get hit by a car, or robbed or beaten up by some shady citizens, than I am of being tracked down by some internet criminal.
But then again, I blog in a very obscure language, and the number of Hungarian internet perverts is significantly lower than that of anglos. (Over the world there are supposed to be 15 million Hungarians in total. Add a few thousand foreigners who managed to learn this language,- I don't feel that unsafe in comparison. :-)