CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?
My Mother used to tease me when I was a child:
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Yes”, I would reply
“So can I” she would smile.
Can you keep a secret today?
Have you answered a survey? An E-mail charge card form? Are you a Facebook Member?
You have probably revealed personal information which can be used by merchants, thieves, enemies, creditors, employers and friends. As presidential candidates have just learned, you can’t hide from the Internet.
I was amazed to find there are now sites which allow anyone to locate a person’s residence, how much he or she owes on a mortgage, financial dealings, credit accounts, email and telephone numbers. The sites report marriage or marriages and whether you have had any interaction with the law from a speeding ticket to crime. On one site—I do know whether it is true—a father was quoted as saying he checked on the young man his daughter was dating and found out the suitor had a criminal record. The sites also identify neighbors are.
The cost to access the sites require reasonable one-time or monthly fees.
Then there are the do-it-yourself search engines on the Internet which may give even more information going back for years revealing an individual’s background.
What is the difference between secrets and privacy?
Secrecy is defined as: a condition in which someone refuses to disclose certain information others.
Privacy is the condition under which an individual has the power to choose what information to disclose to whom.
We are often privy to the secrets of others. There are good secrets and bad secrets.
A good secret may be the planning of a surprise party or learning a friend has a secret desire.
A bad secret may be withholding information about a crime or a potentially dangerous escapade.
Psychotherapists wrestle with the latter. Whatever a patient tells a therapist is supposed to be privileged. If the information concerns threat to murder or commit another crime, should the therapist reveal it to the target in danger or to the authorities? This conundrum has been evident in recent cases of mass murder shooters.
Secrets are also important in everyday life. Parents may be too busy to spend the time to find out their children’s secrets. Parents of young people who have overdosed on drugs may be sorry they didn’t find out their children’s secrets
Bosses also may be too harassed today to determine an employee is hiding something which would better be revealed.
Can you keep your privacy and secrets today?
Chances are you can’t—not even your medical records. Selling information is a multibillion dollar business. There burgeoning databases of information: Furthermore, even your boss and neighbors can spy on you electronically.
I am keeping the sites of the information invader-sites secret. See if you can uncover them.