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LOL...OMG: The Caped Crusader of Privacy

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“There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.”

- Selina Kyle “The Catwoman” from Dark Knight Rises

The Batman Dark Knight trilogy’s exploration of privacy issues has been well covered by other commentators, such as this. However, as we approach Data Privacy Day (January 28th in case you have “forgotten”) it is useful to look at the creation of the global permanent record on the internet. In the movie, The Catwoman wants to obtain access to the “Clean Slate” software, which will erase all record of her crimes from any public database, allowing her to “start over”. The Catwoman’s situation raises important social questions about the degree to which individuals should forever carry a mark for mistakes they have made. We cannot let the Right to Privacy turn into a Right to Steal. Processing personal data to protect against theft or other malicious acts is critical, such as to provide adequate cyber-security. However, a culture where everyone can discover mistakes we made decades ago, would be invasive and unduly chilling.

Instead of the “Clean Slate” program, perhaps we should recommend Selina Kyle download a free copy of LOL…OMG on Data Privacy Day. Matt Ivester has updated his book to create a high school edition. Intel and Reed Elsevier will be working with Matt to promote five days of free downloads of the e-book version. LOL…OMG is a practical explanation of privacy risks and how to manage online reputation. One Miami teacher recently said about the book, "I wish I could make Mr. Ivester's book mandatory reading for every parent, student and educator. It's a landmark achievement, and I would be honored to help spread the word." The book recognizes not only will young people make mistakes, but we want them to make mistakes. How else can they attempt to reach their potential. Click here during January 25th – January 29th to download a free copy of LOL…OMG.

Intel is honored to play a role putting this practical book’s guidance in the hands of parents, teachers and high school students. Please help us by spreading the word about Data Privacy Day and this promotion.

In my next post, I will take a look at whether the EU proposal of a Right to be Forgotten could help Selina Kyle in her attempt to start over.