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Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

  1. Why I won’t conform to confirm

    November 3, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Little L has regular(ish) eye tests. We receive the appointment through the post, which is great – if we can’t make it, the service to change the appointment is really easy to use. However, there is a sticking point in this process. Around a week before each appointment, we receive an automated phone call from the hospital to confirm our attendance. With every single phone call, at the point where we are asked to confirm Little L’s date of birth, I hang up.


    Because if someone is calling me, they should need to confirm that they are who they say they are, not me. I’ve already completed paperwork to confirm our personal details. I know I am me. Anyone could set up a recorded message to call me and then ask for my daughter’s date of birth, a factoid that will probably be part of some security question or another in the future, and one that I am not happy to give to an automated message over the phone.

    No, if you call me, you prove that you know my daughter’s date of birth.

    The result of me hanging up is normally a phone call from a real person a few days later.

    Actual phone call from this evening
    Them: Are you the parents or carer of Little L?
    Me: Yes.
    Them: And, for security purposes, can you confirm Little L’s date of birth please?
    Me: No. You should be confirming it to me. You called me. You could be anyone.
    Them: Oh… but it’s standard procedure, could you just confirm her date of birth please?
    Me: No. You could be anyone calling me and reeling off the hospital procedures, so I wouldn’t give you personal information over the phone. You should be able to confirm it to me, not the other way around.
    Them: I can give you the hospital’s phone number to call back if that would make you more comfortable?
    Me: No, I’m fine thanks.
    Them: So….?
    Me: No. We’ll be at the appointment, yes, but I’m not going to tell you my daughter’s date of birth.
    Them: Oh. Ok. Erm…

    I gave them the ultimate answer they were looking for, but not the security question in between. I have no idea whether this will have made their procedure driven head explode in a malfunctioning does-not-compute cloud of sparks or not.

    In other areas of life, we have companies call and ask us (without divulging their company name) for personal details “in order to pass security”. No. Just no. You prove yourself and credentials and inside knowledge to me and then we can talk. I had the AA call me back once and ask for my date of birth. Nope. They could be anyone, sitting there all ready to take my personal details down and set up an account in my name. Date of birth, address, phone number, national insurance number – that’s a great start to get a loan in my name.

    So no, sorry to all the companies out there with well meaning goals and procedures, but no, I won’t answer your security questions if you call me. I will continue to ask you to pass my security until such a time where one of these calls ‘recorded for quality and training purposes’ finally gets listened to and acted on.


  2. Spring(ish) Cleaning

    November 22, 2011 by Amy Hansford

    After various friends having Facebook friend culls, I thought I’d do my own this week.

    Picture care of Doug Savage from over at www.savagechickens.comFor anyone who doesn’t know, you can end up with a lot of friends on Facebook. It starts off as one or two old school friends, the ones you used to share a desk with Then their school friends find you and add you, the ones who never really spoke to you. Then their school friends find you and add you, the ones that used to bully you. But you can’t say no – it’s impolite, isn’t it?
    Then there are the friends you used to see every weekend, ten years ago. The ones who, after an initial ‘So great to see you on here!”, forget to ever speak to you again.
    Not to mention the ones that drive you up the wall with their gullibility (“Facebook are going to start charging £3 a month – I’m not paying! Join this group if you agree”), copy and pastes (“Post this as your status, if you have someone keeping an eye on you from above”) and incessant shouting/use of text speak (XFACTOR 2MO NIGHT).

    And so I culled my friend list.
    My criteria? Those who I’d not communicated with (or visa versa) for over a year or made me want to punch them in the face. I figured I’d go down by about thirty or so. EIGHTY. Eighty people, gone. That’s one in five. And I shouldn’t think any of them will miss my updates.

    Me? It’s not made a huge impact on my feed, but there are less irritating posts and I see more of the people I frequently catch up with. People who weren’t kind to me at school have gone – I feel happier knowing that they don’t get to see my happiness now. And it’s refreshing to have done.

    So, does your friend list need to be so big?

    Picture care of Doug Savage from over at

  3. My beloved Facebook and me

    June 5, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    I am taking a Facebook holiday.

    There’s been a lot of talk lately regarding the privacy of Facebook. I’ve been tempted to follow the suit of others by deleting my account, but I know I wouldn’t be able to go that far. I would miss the interaction, the photos and keeping up with the latest events. Equally, there are people who DM me through Facebook whose emails I do’?t have, so I would lose this communication line.
    While my Facebook account will remain active, I won’t be around so much.
    To a lesser extent, I’ll also be giving my Twitter feed a rest until everything’s out the way too.

    I am busy costuming “Our House” for the Griffin Players. It’s taken up an immense amount of my time – if I’m not working, I’m searching shops or surfing Ebay or (yes, it’s true) actually sewing to make theatre magic happen. I’ve found my emails are building up and my other projects suffering as a result, with my attentions turning to Facebook for relaxation in between crafting sessions. As an aside, it really is a cracking show. The Griffins sound amazing and I’m genuinely impressed at the rehearsals I get to. Definitely worth seeing, especially so if you like cheery musicals (we need them right now, right?)
    It’s on from 16th – 19th June at the Library Theatre in Luton. Friday/Saturday are nearly sold out, so phone the box office 07906 075455 for your tickets. And mine’s an orange and passionfruit J2O afterwards in the bar, thanks.

    Also, I’ve just started my new job! Well, I’ve been doing it as a temp for a couple of months. Having completed the interview process, it’s now official and comes with some extra responsibilities, so I’m finding myself working longer hours than normal. While 9am-6pm isn’t a patch on the old teaching hours of 7.30am-6.30pm, it’s tricky when I’m trying to do everything else at the same time!

    I feel for my poor websites – really needs to be updated with all the great stuff going on with their production of Little Shop Of Horrors; – well, the first update that’s had in a while will be this one; As If By Magic could do with a scrub up and pictures of the divine things we’ve been making recently, plus I’d love to be more active on our Twitter account,

    Don’t worry – I have my Facebook set up so I will still receive your emails and messages, just to my inbox instead. But I may not know if you’re inviting me to an event (hey, occasionally, it happens) so give me a shout.

    * Extra props if you get the title reference

  4. Picturesque

    February 19, 2009 by Amy Hansford

    I’ve had a bit of a falling out with Facebook.

    First he took my apple, then my lunch money, then he said that even if I closed my account he’d still own all my images and information and he’d use it anyway he wanted forever. Then he pulled my hair and ran away.
    The teacher told him off and he took it back, but I don’t trust him anymore. So I’ve pulled off my information and pictures to keep them here instead where I have a little more control of things. He’s in detention until he gets his act together, so I have time to sort things out.

    That means there’s pretty pictures here! Not all of the ones I had on Facebook, but a few for now. Beware – my camera may well travel with me from here on in!