Friday, October 15, 2010


This week's perspective by Joe Chidley:

You think it’s just kids that text too much? Well, think again. The NFL’s resident geezer, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, got a Fumble from us back in August for using text messages to stoke rumours he wasn’t going to return to the field this fall. (Those rumours helped him bag an extra few million from Vikings management.) At the time, we also noted the brewing scandal over allegations he texted pictures of his private parts to a sports reporter and ex-model named Jenn Sterger a couple years ago. Now, those allegations may come back to sack the aging gridiron hero, as the NFL has officially launched an investigation into whether Favre broke the league’s personal conduct rules. Do fans care? The jury is still out. For now, they seem to be worried a lot more that the legendary QB is losing games—the jokes are already circulating that he’s been “emailing it in” on the field. So far, Favre has rightly declined to talk to the media, except to say that his primary concern is the Vikings’ poor showing. Fair enough. But let’s step back a bit. If Favre did send those pictures, it’s a classic case of misplaced confidence in confidentiality. No one can assume that what they send over email or text message is private—no matter how private the subject matter—and that holds especially true for those in the public spotlight or in positions of power. So if you’ve got something really sensitive to share, do the smart thing and pick up the phone. True, phone calls can be recorded (legally, in this country, as long as one of the participants know the call is being recorded), but they’re still a safer route than email or text, no matter how convenient those are. Shouldn’t we all know this already? If Favre didn’t two years ago, he sure does now.

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