I received an email the other day, actually I receive emails everyday but this one I found particularly interesting because it said it would help me live a more secure life knowing my identity was safe. Honestly I feel pretty safe in my current identity, not having any sense that I don’t know who I am or what it is that I am supposed to be doing with life. Presently all pretty good with who I am in an existential sense. But having been the recent victim of yet more credit card number thievery I was intrigued by he idea that these people, senders of the email, could do something unique in making me more secure. I read on.
Turns out they had no solution for identity security in a monetary sense. They were selling reputation services which I have always felt like was my job for my life but I was curious enough to scan through the rest of the note. It was good news they said. Though I had a number of new reviews on the web they weren’t bad reviews and their organization could keep it that way. For a mere cost of whatever it was that they were charging monthly a service would be performed scanning the vast internet for anything said about me that might be perceived a negative thus assuring myself that the review of my being on the website they maintained would stay at least around a B standard.
This turns into something of that circular argument we have about privacy: if you aren’t doing anything that your not supposed to do you won’t mind being surveilled all of the time, only bad people really care about privacy and needing to keep things hidden. If I haven’t done anything that might make someone think less of me then I shouldn’t need a reputation service, but no one if perfect and maybe there are liars out there who are just out to get me and so I better make sure not by paying a lot of money to someone to protect me. Or maybe if I don’t pay the money to the people offering to protect me they will say something bad about me. I’m pretty sure that’s called racketeering.
The internet is a pretty awesome thing. A lot of stuff goes on out there in the ether that we, the little, regular people living our little regular lives have absolutely no control over. The value of my IRA goes up, it goes down, sometimes based on real things, sometimes based on a computer glitch or a tweet or a misspelled word. Maybe I’ll live on cat food in my retirement or maybe I can have dolphin safe tuna, perhaps it is not entirely up to me. My reputation on the internet based on the most recent reviews of me by people I do not know on a website I have never heard of is down to a C. I trust that if I am acting like a jerk the people closest to me would let me know, they usually do. In the meantime I think I just have to keep being responsible for myself, no outsourcing that job no matter how much money you spend.