This is pretty off topic, but this article (“The Nations Borders Now Guarded by the Net) published in the New York Times this morning really got to me.
Apparently, border guards are doing Internet searches to find information about people as they cross the border (here, a person from Vancouver) to find out if there is anything undesirable about the person coming in that should prevent their entry to this country. In the case written about this morning, a psychotherapist with no criminal record who wrote an article in a journal a few years ago about experimenting with LSD decades ago was confronted with the article, and then when he admitted writing it, he was told he could not come in. (!!!)
I don’t know where to start on commenting on this use of the Internet and doing research this way, –assuming the facts are correct in this story—and without even getting into the ridiculousness of the actual policy decision itself (if you admit you’ve used drugs decades ago and you cannot come in this country) but here’s what I think about this whole Internet search aspect of the story:
1. Doing an off the cuff Net search to do serious research on persons currently entering the border? Absurd.
2. Drawing broad conclusions about the character of a person based on their digital trail of what they wrote or was located on the Internet. Even more absurd! Jeffrey Rosen wrote about this problem in his books like The Naked Crowd and The Unwanted Gaze
3. Having the above two processes be acceptable national border policy? Amazingly absurd
If border guards’ Googling people’s names on their PC as they come across the border is going to be an accepted procedure policy on making judgements on people and who should be let in here or not, God help us all!
If you haven’t heard it yet, this is a very interesting development, and reported here in Information Today’s Econtent.
I’ll be posting some thoughts on the implications of this for business researchers and the market research industry shortly.
|MarketResearch.com Acquires TBI Market Research Service|
|MarketResearch.com, a source for market research information and services, has acquired the Thomson Business Intelligence Market Research Profound service.|
The word from FT.com that its information page on companies is now free just came into my email box.
This can be a great source for international M&A activity, IPOs’ and more. The articles remain free for 24 hours after publication. To get to the free company information page from FT.com, link here.