Help Desk

If By Chance We Meet Again

Comic Transcript

VIKTOR SCHRECK: Now Alice, please explain how our social network’s privacy policy has actually proven useful to our customers.

ALICE: Sure. In once incident, a Help Desk technician received a call from a member who was trying to track down another member. She and her husband had met the other member at a social event, and they discovered they had a lot in common: taste in movies, books, political views. So they all tentatively agreed to do something social later that week… but nobody remembered to exchange contact information.

ALICE: Other than their common tastes, the couple only had three pieces of information: a name, a place of employment, and that the person used this network. Based on that, the Help Desk tech was able to search through our information database and return a number of tentative profiles, which the couple used to identify the member’s profile picture.

ALICE: After that, the Help Desk tech was able to find a list of other places on the Internet where the member spent time, so the couple could claim to have tracked the member down at a place where it was plausible they’d run into each other instead of having to admit they’d gone to such lengths to procure the information.

JUDGE: Why did your Help Desk tech do that?

ALICE: To make it appear less disturbing.

JUDGE: You realize that the extra effort that went into making that appear less disturbing actually made the entire affair more disturbing.

ALICE: The Internet is like that sometimes.

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