Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Speaking of Privacy….

I was dismayed to learn that footage of Spitzer’s (alleged) rent-a-babe “Kristin” performing in a class play while in elementary school has been featured at various web sites — among them serious sites that should know better.
One could argue that this woman made her bed, and now she can lie in it (puns intended). That’s fine. However, the child in that school play did not make any choices about it being immortalized digitally, and to bandy this footage about in the guise of news does violence to a part of “Kristin” — her memories of a more carefree and innocent time — the sanctity of which should be respected. It won’t, of course, but we can at least recognize what could have been.

4 comments on "Speaking of Privacy…."

  • Dissent says:

    I’m curious, Chris. Where would you draw the line? Do you think that it’s never okay to post videos of people as children, even if they’re involved in a matter of public curiosity or possible legal mess such as a money laundering ring or prostitution ring? Or is it something about her background — that she claimed to have been abused — that has made you more protective of her privacy? Would you feel the same if these sites that you allude to featured childhood footage of Lee Harvey Oswald or anyone else?

  • Chris says:

    That’s a very good question.
    The abuse claims are irrelevant, IMO.
    I guess I am arguing that there’s a certain compartmentalization that we all have, and that there is a normative structure about when it is OK to allow information about a given person obtained from one compartment to be displayed outside that compartment.
    Cases like Oswald’s are easy — even if he were alive today, I’d say he has little claim to keep his grade school picture private. I might not feel that way about his medical records, however. In “Kristen’s” case, she hasn’t even been charged with a crime, so her notoriety is entirely based on gossip and the opprobrium of the masses. I guess I feel that while the right to sit in judgment of others is one I cherish, I also cherish the right to privacy, and here there is a tension, in particular since in some sense that I cannot articulate well, he “other” being judged is at once distinct from and the same as the one who was the girl in the grammar school play.

  • Dissent says:

    OK, now I understand what you’re saying and tend to agree with you on this.
    I don’t know if you saw this, but her court-appointed attorney somewhat put the media on notice [link no longer works] about them invading her privacy. It would have been more impressive if he hadn’t thrown in violations of copyright law as well.

  • Iang says:

    The affair reminds me of the Sydney Morning Herald headline on the day after the release of the Starr report:

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