Friday, December 07, 2007

You can run but you can't hide from technology.....

I was watching the morning news and perked up with a story that was reported earlier this week. A man in the UK showed up at a police station saying....I understand that I have been missing as I have amnesia and don't remember where I have been. This man was missing from a kayaking trip for over 5 years. He had left behind a wife and children. Finding a paddle, canoe and other items, he was declared dead after one year. His wife received insurance money and what looked like, to everyone including her children, started to move on with her life. This is where the story takes a wee turn....

Stories around the Internet report that shortly after the insurance money was received, the wife bought property and furniture in Panama. When the story first hit the airways....reporters questioned why hasn't anyone come to "the surface" that may have known this man over the last 5 years? Where has he been?

So as one does, people hit the Internet to search for the name of the wife and husband, Panama, etc.... Beware of your digital footprint - didn't a picture surface that had been taken of the man and his wife in Panama....wait, wasn't he supposed to be dead and she the grieving widow?

When the true story was revealed this week, close friends and their children were furious. How could their mother have them believe all these years that their father was dead?

Wife guilty? Husband guilty? I am sure more will surface over the next couple of days. Then next year by this time we will see a prime time movie will be made about it......but in the meantime......

Classroom Chat....
I used to have discussions with my students about digital footprints....when you put things in "digital" format, it can come back to haunt you. You never know where someone may be taking a picture and posting it to the web. Almost every mobile phone has a camera built in it. You never know who can get access into your social network and retrieve information or post information on you. I we are just coming to terms in understanding impact of our own digital footprints.

Further Reading:
Dereks Blog: Online Safety
School Video that Mocked Student with Disabilities Posted on YouTube
Teenage girl posting dangerous photos online (NZ Herald)

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