Privacy Invasion Spills Over Into Print

The Google Maps Street View was one thing. But a certain magazine, which I will not name or link to, has offered a map of New York for literary enthusiasts. The map in question contains both an address and a photo of a notable author’s house. I’m fairly certain that the magazine did not obtain permission from the author to do this. And I have a problem with this. Are not authors — or anyone, for that matter — entitled to some reasonable privacy? Granted, the true stalker lunatic will go to any lengths to discover a phone number or an address. But how is aiding and abetting a stalker a good thing? Is Gawker Stalker responsible for this trend? Who benefits by the dissemination of such private information? Or are we simply becoming a less private society and am I the only guy who gives a shit about it?

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t know which writer you’re referring to (frankly, I’d rather not know, so that, in some small way, I won’t be contributing to this invasive trend). However, if it’s the one I’m thinking of, it kind of highlights something I’ve noticed about current attitudes towards privacy. That is, most media organizations don’t really respect people’s privacy, but they seem to get *really* pissed by those that try very hard to maintain it. Recluses, people that produce work anonymously, and those that don’t answer requests for interviews seem to generate an overwhelming desire to *get* that person, whatever the cost. All that matters is that they somehow “get” the ungettable.

    Happy belated birthday, by the way! (I’m embarrassingly behind on my web-reading). Best wishes for the next year.

  2. It bothers me. What bothers me even more is that we’ve become so inured to such invasions and we rely on stating the bloody obvious to bring some sense of sanity back. Now if the author was, say, Norman Mailer, or some such old school courter of public notice, then maybe it would be different. But no, I doubt very much that any person would welcome such invasions of privacy.

    And what’s with the democrats giving in so easily to Bush’s unwarranted wire-tapping renewal? A sign of the times, man.

  3. I think you have to consider the very real possibility that they called the guy and actually asked if it was okay. Obviously, I don’t know him or his wife but why assume they would say no such a mention. They get to elbow Paul Auster out of the top spot after all. I think you shouldn’t underestimate the desire famous people have to be mentioned as often as possible. Even if we’re only talking about famous writers (which is, of course, a few steps down on TMZ scale)

    Of course, it’s also possible the magazine did it without permission but I imagine they’d be setting themselves up for quite a lawsuit and this couple has got the cash for a good lawyer. I suppose we’ll see if they print an apology or if there’s news of a court case, but my guess is that there won’t be a word.

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