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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Loose lips sink ships.

First day of high school and my girlfriends daughter has been asked to provide some information for a class project.

Are there any places special to your family (For example, a holiday home, a previous town you lived in, or where your parents/grandparents come from, etc.)
So the translation would be do you have second home, and could give us some info so we can have a record not just of where you are from, or live, but the last two generations of your family to.

How many close relatives do you have? (You can include some of their names)
Or in other words could you add family who aren't immediate. Cousins, whoever.

Who do you take after in terms of looks or nature?
It's for the eugenics file.

How does your family celebrate special occasions? (For example birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, passing exams, etc.)
Lets see if we can class you as normal while attempting to glean how religious you are and how educated some of your family are.

Ask your parents for a photograph of yourself to use in a poster display. ( Preferably one of yourself alone. but if that is not possible then a good one of yourself with others.)
This is for a harmless bit of fun, although we aren't saying that your image and those in the photograph with you wont used to identify you when skynet takes over. (joke)

It's all a bit STASI isn't it?
Or am I being paranoid?
I mean it's not like they are fingerprinting the kids.

Oh wait a minute. They did do that
A few years ago they took the fingerprints of all the kids in the my daughters class and then sealed the page off with some sort of cellophane as part of a project on crime.
I asked for a meeting and queried it.
I didn't really get an answer that filled me with much confidence as to why the prints were sealed, so I asked for the page of fingerprints to be removed.
They did this and I took possession of the page, but a short while later they managed to get her fingerprints when her mother - who she resided with at the time - gave permission as they were going to be used in the high tech school cafeteria where after swiping your fingerprint the cost of the lunch would be debited from an account.

Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who is uncomfortable with the information that is gleaned about us all from multiple sources on a daily basis.
It really is relentless.
As I said though, I'm not paranoid about it.
I share details daily, but I do want to reserve the right to share what I wish with who I wish.
We are told often enough that we should be very careful with who we give our information to as the details we provide could be exploited.
I fully endorse that sort of common sense advice.
It's just that unlike others I extend it to include authority figures to.
I like my privacy. I like to maintain a degree of control of the information that is out there about me and I think that's normal for most of us.

Anyway. As I will be assisting with homework tonight the answers are going to be rather limited.
It's going to be No, Seven, Both my parents and Usually with a party, in that order.
The photograph will be one that's at least eight years old, blurry and taken from a strange angle.

Lets see what they can get from that.
If there's a request to expand on the information provided I'll mention it on here.


  1. Oh. I suppose I should also add that this homework is for her religious education class.
    I'm not sure what answering the questions will bring to the subject at hand.

  2. and you're not paranoid?

  3. Not at all.
    Maybe you should read the update again.
    It clearly says that I freely share information with third parties on a daily basis.
    My issue is that I prefer the process to be more transparent, and that the choice remains with the individual with how much they wish to share.
    In this case it seems that a class project has been devised to trawl for information from children about their families.
    There's something distasteful about that.
    Please keep in mind that the questions asked appear to have nothing to do with the class subject either.

  4. Seem paranoid.

  5. Now c'mon. You can do better than that.
    Two words.
    It's barely worth responding to.

    Here's a wee scenario to illustrate a point.

    Walking down the street a young guy wearing a high visibility vest and sporting dreadlocks stops you.

    He's polite and asks you where you live, how long you have been there, where did you live prior to that and do you have more than one property.
    Before you can answer he expands on the questions and asks for details of your immediate family and extended family.
    Just as you start thinking WTF he goes on to query who you take after in your family.
    Then he quickly moves onto requesting that you tell him how you celebrate special occasions.
    Finally he politely asks if you would provide a photograph of yourself for him.
    At no point has he explained why he wants this information and what he will do with it if you provide him with it all.

    In those circumstances would you happily answer all his questions?
    Or instead, as I think most people would do, smile and say you are a bit busy and walk away.