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You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

It’s privacy week on emmanation!

September 27th, 2010 by biscuit

Last week I had to finalize my paperwork for my research assistantship.

The documents I had to submit and forms I was required to fill out were, in no particular order:

  • I-9 Form:  Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Social Security Card
  • Worker’s Compensation Policy Form
  • Drug-Free Workplace Policy Form
  • EEO Gender & Ethnicity Voluntary Self-Disclosure Form
  • EEO Individuals with Disabilities & Veterans Voluntary Self-Disclosure Form
  • Emergency Contact Form
  • Social Security Form SSA-1945
  • Faculty Oath
  • W-4 Form:  Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate
  • Electronic Deposit Form & Voided Check

That’s right, I was required to submit all of the above documents. Including the two that have ‘voluntary’ in the name. Also, without a checking account I literally would not be able to get paid. Plus, when was the last time that someone demanded to see your social security card? I had my passport, which I needed my card to get, but apparently that’s just not good enough?

One of my classes is focused on data – where it comes from and what you can do with it. It’s called Data Mining, and many of the readings we do involve statistics culled from semi-public data. My teacher is of the opinion that our privacy has been dramatically compromised by the promulgation of online societies and social media, and he doesn’t like it. He also acknowledges that it may be too late to do anything about it.

Crockett has been known to get up in arms when someone requires that he show ID for something like a credit card purchase. He doesn’t have ‘see ID’ on the card (although as far as I know that is in no way more than a suggestion) and he’s told me that as far as he knows, credit card companies actually do NOT allow a business to turn you away because you don’t have ID. He finds these and other baby steps into what he considers ‘his business’ to be an area in which we need to take a stand.

I haven’t traditionally been concerned with this kind of thing* – and now? Now I’m wondering if my teacher and Crockett are right. Maybe we should do something about it… and maybe it’s already too late.

*I blog and tweet and facebook, all under my real name. Clearly privacy isn’t one of my top ten worries in life.


9 Responses to “It’s privacy week on emmanation!”

  1. Awlbiste says:

    You are never required to show ID for a credit card purchase, you can’t be turned away. However, the “See ID” myth is very entertaining to me because it’s not for buyer protection but seller protection in the event of a chargeback.

    I think foursquare is a hilarious violation of privacy that users are simply giving away their rights to.

  2. D says:

    I love when you are just filling out a job app and they want your SS #. I give them the last four digits and tell them when hired, they can have the rest. Probably why I’m still looking!

  3. biscuit says:

    I knew it! And yeah, foursquare and the facebook places thing – come on.

  4. Hayley says:

    you have to provide proof of citizenship when starting a job. that means either a) your social security card and drivers license OR b) your passport. so they made you jump through hoops for nothing.

  5. Steph Lee says:

    Emma we need to get together and do this as a social experiment.

    PS : I need a clever nickname. That’s word-nerdy and special and ‘relatable’ and witty.

  6. biscuit says:

    So I talked to them, and apparently the State of Colorado required my Social Security card so they could verify that I was SPELLING MY NAME CORRECTLY.

  7. biscuit says:

    Ok to both. I’m on the nickname thing.

  8. Laura says:

    I’m not really understanding Crockett’s objection to the “See ID” thing. I have that written on my cards so someone doesn’t run around town using my card without my permission. If someone checks my ID they know it’s me spending my money. Have vendors been turning him away for not proving his identity? The only reason I can see for this is that they suffer some consequence for selling goods to people with stolen credit cards. They can deposit cash in the bank, no questions, why should they risk losing money because others are trying to steal? What am I missing?

  9. biscuit says:

    His objection is that it means absolutely nothing. If you have it written on your card and then someone steals your card and refuses to show ID, they can still use it – I guess that it’s up to the vendor to stop them. I don’t know – you guys should talk about it sometime.

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