Thursday, August 17, 2006

They Are Watching You

I had a somewhat disconcerting phone call yesterday. I ordered a new computer from a reliable Internet site last week, and yesterday someone from India (naturally) calls me up to tell me that, since I had it shipped to my private mail box instead of my house, they had to ask a couple of questions to verify my identity. For my protection, of course. To prevent fraud.

So she tells me to let her know if I recognize any names in a list she's going to read off. I recognized the third name on the list: It was my wife, but the last name was the same as her ex-husband's. They have been divorced for 26 years! But apparently that doesn't matter. She still in my credit account under the name of her former husband.

Then she asked me to identify an address: 119 Lone Oak Road. I could identify it, but it also took me aback, since that was my parents' address, and they both died over 20 years ago.

So it's all there somewhere, in a big computer file. Everything about you, going back for years and years. Privacy is an illusion.

Even that "permanent record" they always threatened me with back in school is probably out there somewhere. Now that ought to make some interesting reading. But I hope it doesn't really exist: with all the "blowing stuff up" shenanigans that I pulled in my youth (firecracker pipe-bombs, long-twine time bombs, exploding hydrogen balloons, etc), it probably would get me on a bunch of terrorist watch-lists.

And I really hope no one dredges up the unfortunate incident involving the trained cormorant, the bishop's wife and the kangaroo in the steam bath...

2 Comments:

spadoman said...

Man, I don't have anything to worry about. The worst I did was make a squirt gun that fired continuously and called the high school dean "four eyes"

I still get my brothers ex-wifes mail. Her married name when she was married to my brother is the same as my wifes with a different middle initial. It will haunt me forever!

nunya said...

Have you applied for a job lately? That's a real barrel of laughs, computerized fingerprinting, urine, saliva, (to check for drugs) yeah, to NOT make enough to pay the rent, let alone, anything else. If my fingerprints show up in another state, you can bet your ass they got there electronically, I can't afford the bus ticket. And to top it off they sent me all kinds of addresses that barely triggered my memory, and I lived in 7 of them at the same time according to the database geniuses.