Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Protect your personal information with my amazing "keep your voice down" method

In the doctor's waiting room this morning I was once again amazed by how much information people will volunteer about themselves in public space.

Two women who hadn't seen each other in a while vouchsafed the following in less than two minutes. Their kids used to go to school together. One of them's grown up and fathered a child, though he doesn't live with the mother, who doesn't often call the baby's grandmother and ask her help although yesterday she did. The young father is a difficult sort and she doesn't know where he gets it from because his dad's very steady and considerate. The other mother's daughter has got two A stars at A Level and fancies training to teach, primary you know, not secondary. The other daughter missed some school work because of illness and now she's doing a nail course.

At that point the conversation was interrupted because the first woman's full name came up on the screen which announces that the doctor will see you now. I could probably have found her address within minutes.

I took part in a government survey last week. At every stage the researcher went to great pains to assure me that my data would be anonymized. I believe her. People are quite rightly concerned about their privacy being invaded on-line. I'm not sure they're sufficiently concerned about how much information they broadcast about themselves in the real world.


  1. I listened to a suit on the train very importantly booking his mistress (yes, definitely because he broadcast subsequent conversations with her and his wife too) into a hotel in Guildford, giving out all his card details for anyone to steal. Amazing. And he really should book a better class of hotel if he's in it for the long run..

  2. Keep up the good work agent Hepworth, you'll be rewarded when your time comes... You can find the details of your next assignment in the dog poo dustbin next to the park bench.

  3. Love the way that people will talk very loudly on their phones, and then if they catch your eye, glare at you as if to say "Are you listening to me?"

    As if you could avoid it...

  4. Never mind all that, hurry up with the book about 1971!

  5. Is it a generation thing? Baby boomers like discretion and privacy, but the subsequent social media generations like to put endless photos of themselves and their daily drudge online somewhere for all to see and find. This is a natural extension of that. Cue Carly Simon "No Secrets".

  6. Is it a generation thing? (Us) Baby boomers like a bit of privacy and discretion, yet the subsequent social media generations put mundane information and endless photos of themselves online in a constant stream, for all to find and see, like any of it is of any relevance and importance.
    Cue Carly Simon "No Secrets"

    PS - Hope you enjoyed the Nick Lowe gig t'other week Mr H