Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My right to privacy

Or .. On my terms.

I was musing about several issues today ands wondering which one would grab my attention and make the blog. There were:
The nursing home owners now charged in 34 deaths of residents in the wake of Katrina,
The school system in Nawlin's cannot pay it's teachers because it is broke,
Ophelia sitting off the coast of Hatteras and the residents refusing to evacuate,
The impending 60% price increase in utilities in Katrina's wake,
And a host of other local and national interests.

I began, however, to muse about my privacy. I am familiar with the 'Right To Privacy' act of 1974 which states that there are only 4 groups which may legally ask you for your Social Security number. They are: Your employer, Your banking institution, your local Government (drivers license), and the IRS. Most of these are for purposes of taxation and benefits. Old SS cards used to have "Not for Identification" printed on the bottom of the card. It isn't there anymore. Check your card, I'll wait.

Identity theft is rampant these days, because of Americans not realizing the power of knowing one's SS#. Protect yourself. Protect your number. K-mart does not need it to process your check. There was a provision in the 1974 act which states that any business, demanding your number, and being informed of your right not to give it, which still requires it is subject to a $10,000 fine.

NOW, realistically, the pimply-faced girl/boy at the register of your local Wal-mart doesn't know a thing about the law or care about the fine. They are just doing what they were instructed by their supervisor and have no ability to by-pass said instructions.

What I do, when faced with this question, is to ad-lib. "My SS# is 407-35-8724." It isn't. It is different every time anyone asks. Quicker. Easier.

Then, we come to this blog. (Curious as to why the spell checker on the blog doesn't recognize 'blog' as a legitimate word. ?!?) Here, I openly discuss matter that are private. Here, I sometimes bare my soul. This is where the words, "on my terms" come into play. Here, I decide what I will share. I decide what is too personal and what is blog fodder. This is my privacy on my terms. I will give a person the shirt off of my back, but never ever try to steal it from me. Same here. I will tell you just about anything to be told, but don't come prying.

I may blog about what goes on behind my bedroom door, but don't try to peek in the windows.

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