What is the ‘public domain’? This came up recently (Saturday 18th Sept 2021), in a telephone conversation.
I had emailed a certain (nameless) medical professional earlier that day, in the context of business i.e. not some sort of social contact. In that email I said:
This email address from which I correspond with you is a private email address that is highly confidential. I know it is assumed that you will keep it in strict confidence. However, only two persons and one organisation in 30 years have maintained that confidence after giving ironclad assurances. I have suffered so-called accidental human error breaches and excuses about hackings etc, that have caused me distress. Hotmail accounts have been the most easily hacked. Ensure that your account is secured with a complex password. https://passwordsgenerator.net/
He responded by calling me on the phone which I had requested in the body of the email. I had expected that we would get down to the business. However, the discussion started up with content about the above captioned statement. He began telling me that my email address (the one I’m emailing him from) is in the ‘public domain’. I said it wasn’t. He then looked into some online form and found the same email address.
He then suggested that because my email address was shared with his organisation it would have been shared with others and had therefore already been put in the public domain. I disagreed saying that ‘an organisation is permitted to share with other organisations for specific professional or business purposes, but they are not permitted to put any of my contact details on a public place for any and everybody to contact me. Likewise it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to put your contact details on a website that the general public has access to, unless you permit it.” There was a brief silence. This always – I mean ‘always happens’ when people realise the idiots that they are! He moved on swiftly to the business. Why? Because he realised that if he continued I would actually be willing to spend all day on the point and provide more of a free-of-charge bludgeoning. Yes – I would. It’s my time and I decide what I want to do with it, regardless of what anybody else thinks. And – just to be clear – the individual at issue was in a position of power over me. What do I care? Certainly – not a monkeys! Truth to power and authority – always.
If anyone reading this thought they were gonna get a dissertation on what ‘public domain’ means, they certainly don’t know me. It’s a very basic concept that anybody can find on the net. I’m not spoon-feeding on this one, and I rarely do on any other matter.
Stupid: You need to have more respect for people in authority.
CW: And people in authority need to have more respect for me.
Stupid: You are impossible! You have an answer for everything – FFS!
CW: Thank you.. thank you! What – am I prohibited from having an answer to the rubbish people like you churn out? Try again.
Stupid: All the man was saying is that the email was in the public domain. You didn’t have to go on like that.
CW: You know nothing of the ‘man’. He is a highly educated professional who ought to know what public domain means. What he was in effect doing is creating an excuse for accidental or intentional disclosure.
Stupid: I don’t think so.
CW: Well I think so. I already checked him out online. He has a big business and he probably is in the practice of emailing bunches of his contacts using the ‘To’ or ‘cc’ fields to tout for business.
Stupid: You don’t know that he would do that.
CW: Yes – but I work on a principle of probability. The fact that he was about to argue nonsense meant to me that he was likely (51%) to misuse my email. Hotmail accounts are well known to be ‘throw-away’ email accounts, that some business use for their junk! Why as a professional with a business he’s using a hotmail account? Dodgy.
Stupid: That’s judgemental.
CW: Correct. I have to make judgements about loads of things in life – people included – in professional and personal domains. If a person is staggering drunk when approaching me; I’ll make as many judgements as I need to. If he has a hotmail account – as he is using – I’ll make a judgement about that based on my knowledge and experience.
Stupid: But he’s not a drunk on the street.
CW: Chrysst! It was an example to say that I had to make judgements in life – and there is nothing wrong with being judgemental about people based on the way they think and act.
Stupid: I don’t get it.
CW: You won’t. That’s why I’ve called you ‘Stupid’. You are a creation of my mind to embody all that is stupid.
Stupid: So you’re saying that you are right. You always do this!
CW: What – if other people can do things because they think they are right, I’m prohibited from doing what I think is right? Get real.
Stupid: So you’re always right? How arrogant.
CW: Should I say “How judgemental?” You’re into ‘take down’ mode. I can see it. I’m not always right. I’m more right than I am wrong, a high percentage of the time. I don’t wait for stuff to happen. I prepare to cross bridges before I reach them. My probability estimates on things in the human domain, happens to be pretty right most times. There is nothing arrogant about stating the facts.
Stupid: I know how this ends.
CW: Yes you do. My point is that I’m not going to wait for the moron above to do ridiculous things with my email or phone number, and then have an argy-bargy with him. BTW Poof! You’re gone.
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