What people thought – the last year.
In the last year I’ve had two most-trusted people reveal contact details for me to third parties without my prior consent.
How did this happen:
- Person A: “ ” that I wouldn’t mind as person X was so trusted by them, a professional and a trustworthy person.
- Person B: “ ” that person Y was my “good friend” and that I would “be happy to be in contact” again.
The word “thought” is important. What does that mean? Well anybody reading this could well look up a dictionary somewhere on the several meanings of the word ‘thought’. It’s my business – I held these two individuals, Person A and Person B, to account. Anyone who reads this (unless it happens to be Person A and Person B) could not possibly know the context of the word ‘thought’ in our respective conversations. In essence the common meaning from those conversations, I extracted, was that they ‘assumed’.
I always make a point to tell most-trusted people not to reveal my personal details – and I have hard evidence to prove it. But what if I don’t have evidence to prove it? Would that mean it’s fine to ‘assume’ that some ‘other person’ that they trust or believe is my ‘good friend’ out there, is fine to have my details without my consent? I think not!
Why? Oops.. here we go…
*Stupid: Are you saying that you are sooo special?
CW: No! I’ve never said anything like that! What I am trying to get across is that I have a right to privacy – and most-trusted people are also trusted to respect my privacy.
Stupid: So what’s the big deal? People do this all the time in trying to be helpful and out of the goodness of their heart.
CW: So what if I thought delivering a few blows to your head was helpful and I was acting from the goodness of my heart for the whole of humanity – is that alright? People do on occasions deliver violence on others by finding various means to justify that which is clearly wrong.
Stupid: Well no – that’s an entirely different matter as you’d be talking interpersonal violence.
CW: I just used your grounds namely ‘helpful’ and ‘goodness of heart’ as criteria for giving you the example. Now you don’t like your own criteria when you apprehend an imminent beating – isn’t it?
Stupid: Yes – but my context was about breach of your contact details. Surely I wasn’t talking about interpersonal violence.
CW: Ahhh.. so your criteria means that it’s fine for people to breach my privacy. Is that it?
Stupid: Well yes – how are people to know any different in advance?
CW: I see – so it’s fine for me to distribute the contact details of others who trust their details to me, on your criteria, to whoever and whenever?
Stupid: If they didn’t say you shouldn’t, you can.
CW: But this is the whole point – what if they said I shouldn’t, should I still follow your criteria of ‘helpfulness‘ and ‘goodness of heart‘ and breach their privacy anyway?
Stupid: I didn’t say that.
CW: Yes you didn’t? And I didn’t say that you said that. I’m asking you a question, for Pete’s sake!
Stupid: …. .(speechless)
CW: Good. Your silence means to me that you might be thinking, for a change. I did not say that you are thinking, as I can’t actually know what’s going on in the privacy of your thick skull. I’m going to end this conversation here in a couple minutes. The big issue is that people have rights to privacy and integrity of their person. So that means that they and I have to respect those rights, equally. In as much as the integrity of your person means I cannot just hatch criteria for giving you a beating, I cannot simply hatch criteria for breaching people’s rights to privacy. If cannot or ought not to do so, then others need to do the same.
Stupid: Ok.. you’ve gone on long enough – what do you want?
CW: Chryssst!! I’ve almost given up – it’s this simple:
- Don’t assume (aka ‘thought’) anything about some need or urgency to disclose my details.
- Respect my rights if you’re a most-trusted person.
- If I say do not disclose to others when I share my details, then don’t hatch ‘good intentions’ or some ‘urgency’, as an exception to my wishes and rights to privacy.
- If ‘you’ want to be helpful just contact me and ask for my permission to disclose.
Stupid: Right – well maybe you ought to tell people all the above when you share your contact details.
CW: Really?! You mean I should go around spoon-feeding people on the very basics of common decency and respecting my (and other) people’s rights? Look – there’s a reason why you name is Stupid. Perhaps my most-trusted are just like you, and I need to do something about that. Thanks for your interest. Now get lost!
Stupid: That’s so rude.
CW: It’s my blog. You intruded. You tried to justify the wrong doings of others and sneak it in as allowable on the grounds of good intentions. It is you who are most rude. So, I’m justifying my need to tell you ‘get lost – now!’
Stupid: ….. (thrown out of the room).
[*Stupid – is an imaginary impish figure in my mind who often intrudes with doubts, questions and comments which trips me up in my thinking. However I find stupid to be useful. Just to be clear – as this is social media – I am not hallucinated!]
Back to my main thoughts and some arising from the above conversation. People think that I don’t trust them when I tell them not to disclose my details to other without my consent. Invariably they go, “Oh sure.. that’s understood.” (or something like that). But it’s not that I do not trust them as individuals. They are humans – of course – and that means they have a ‘human nature’. And it is ‘human nature’ that I do not trust. The nature of humans is to err, to not remember, to invent means of justifying anything under the sun – and to create plausible reasons/excuses. Did I say I’m a perfect human being? I did not! Did I say I have never erred in life? I did not! That I have erred in the past in similar ways does not mean I should simply throw away respect for people’s rights or be oooh so much more forgiving. If everybody would just be ‘forgiving’ of the breaches of the rights of others, then we might as well tear up all rights – which would be a load of nonsense.
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