Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Will Your Digital Dirt Come Back To Haunt You?

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Just about everyone nowadays has an online presence or has “Google-ed” themselves to find out what type of digital dirt is out there about them.

In a recent Wall Street Journal online piece, "Google and The Search for the Future" editors had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Google CEO, Eric Schmidt about his thoughts on the future of the company and Internet search as a whole.
Among many interesting points in the article, one that particularly stood out was Schmidt’s views of privacy and a prediction “that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites.”

As technology continues to grow and more and more people are sharing information via websites like Facebook and Twitter, Schmidt raises food for thought on the implications of so much of other peoples’ personal information being available at our fingertips. Will we as a society learn to turn a blind eye to binge drinking photos of a politician that resurface 20 years later? Will raunchy videos of partying on YouTube be overlooked when a professional becomes success in a Fortune 500 company? When will Internet information, be it photos or videos or tweets and Facebook postings from one’s past be taken lightly and when will it be seen as crossing the professional line? Will there come a day when aspiring professionals need to change their names to avoid their Internet dirt past?

Furia Rubel’s CEO Gina Rubel has always been a strong advocate for being careful about what information you put out on the Internet. She constantly encourages clients to Google themselves to get an idea of what is out there about them. Now more than ever it is important to keep her wise advice in mind because what is put out on the Internet, will most likely be searchable and found 10, 20, even 50 years down the road. What you do in your youth may come back to haunt you.

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