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-   -   Privacy concerns (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62359)

Piroska 11-01-2013 10:43 AM

Privacy concerns
 
I have a question for you all - it's not really a poly question, but it pertains to privacy, which does come up in polyamory a lot, so maybe this is ok?

My boyfriend and I just had a huge fight.

I am a fetish performer, live and videos, and writer of erotica among other things. I use the same pseudonym for all of those sorts of things, including a facebook profile, twitter, okc, the whole nine yards. I also have a separate facebook etc profile for my family and vanilla businesses. I met Morp on fetlife, so when we added each other on facebook, I was using the facebook profile that matched my fetlife one. When things got more serious, I switched him as a "friend" to my family/personal facebook profile. My family name is very highly identifiable; the only people in the world that have that last name are my husband's family. So I am very careful about the crossover between my performing name and my family name. I trust him; he'd had my name for some time before I switched it.

I had been nagging him every once in a while to set up (even just an empty) facebook profile that I could use to link to him as a relationship on my performing facebook profile - but if he doesn't, it's not a huge deal. It would be nice, is all. So I was looking at his facebook profile... and realized his facebook username (that he uses for his family and business) is exactly the same as his fetlife username. For me, this would be NOT OK. I didn't want to make a big deal about it though, so I merely pointed it out. He got upset with me, because he thought I was bitching and nagging again, and unfriended me on facebook, over my objection. I dropped it and changed the subject. Eventually, we stopped talking as he was busy at work, and I was busy at home. (we primarily talk IM-text while he's at work)

I got curious if he had used the same username on anything else - he'd told me he used it on online games, that that was where he got it from for fetlife - but I didn't expect anything else. I put it into google, and an OKC profile popped up. I was delighted - I had been curious for some time what he would answer to some of the questions I had on my profile, but I was already nagging him about facebook so I didn't dare suggest he create one on okc too - so I perused it.

Of course, when you are a free user on OKC, when you look at someone's profile, it lets them know. I knew he'd see that I saw it. His reaction when he got the notification was not what I expected - he completely flipped out. He saw it as an invasion of privacy, because I hadn't asked him about an OKC profile, because I'd googled his username. He said it was a double standard that I wanted to keep my privacy but that I violated his.

I had a few points that I tried to explain in a calm and non-temperamental way:
A - it is a public profile on a public site. (even though he told me it was "hidden")
B - this is exactly why I keep my performing and personal name separate. (he calls this a double standard, that I want to keep mine separate just in case someone googles them, but that I google his)
C - it concerned me that my personal name linked to his personal name that linked to his gaming/fetish name that linked to my performing/fetish name.
D - there is no violation of privacy if it is public information. (again, exactly why I take pains to keep them separate)
E - one of the questions on his OKC profile is something to the effect of 'would you google someone you were curious about on okc' and his chosen answer was 'yes - knowledge is power' (so how, again, is this me having a double standard?)
F - one can only have as much privacy as one actively maintains. He says that he has not googled me and therefore I shouldn't do so to him or anyone else. but I told him I don't care if he did - I trusted him, or he wouldn't know my full names - so if he wants to google, have at it. It was all the rest of the random people I don't trust.

I feel that I am completely in the twilight zone or something here - I do not understand how this is my fault or why he is so furious with me. If I am completely off base, maybe someone could point that out. If my reasoning makes sense, maybe someone could explain it in such a way that he understands my point.

Finally - yes, I know I started things on the wrong foot today by nagging him about the facebook profile. I also acknowledge that talking via text is the worst for emotional discussions, because you lose so much communication. I also admit I may have not completely kept my cool, which probably didn't help, but I was trying really hard.

london 11-01-2013 11:59 AM

Ok, firstly, I have to question exactly why how he manages his privacy in relation to online social networking sites bothers you so much. The fact that you choose to keep your accounts so rigorously separated, probably for all the right reasons given your profession (ie strangers who see you perform look you up), doesn't mean he is obliged (as your partner) to uphold the same standards. I understand that him not being as vigorous could potentially put you at risk because maximizing your privacy on Facebook requires your friends to have similarly stringent settings. But this doesn't necessarily mean you get to dictate how he manages his accounts, unless this was something you had negotiated when you started the relationship and/or added one another on Facebook.

You googling him isn't a huge deal, it would have been better to simply ask what you wanted to find out though, more forthcoming. I prefer that word to honest because it encapsulates these sort of situations where a person does something furtively. But, again, why does it matter? Why does him using the same username for all his online accounts bother you so much? Is it a) you feel your partners should feel/behave the same as you, b) you fear he may compromise your security or c) you feel this difference in online account security is a fundamental incompatibility.

If its closer to a, my response is that you need to be less controlling. If its b, you need to understand that not everyone's circumstances warrant the kind of management you require and perhaps you should mention it before you add people and ensure they are willing to adhere to your standards. And if it's c, well, not much I can say.

I wouldnt say you violated his privacy, but you weren't forthcoming about what you wanted to know and why you wanted to know it. That would be a red flag for me. If I felt this sort of thing was habitual, it would be a deal breaker. If I felt you thought my life had to mirror yours because we were in a relationship and now I was expected to make the same choices as you, I'd find that domineering and break up with you.

Piroska 11-01-2013 12:50 PM

First, let me say, london, this was a huge help to get me out of my head and see another perspective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by london (Post 244197)
Ok, firstly, I have to question exactly why how he manages his privacy in relation to online social networking sites bothers you so much. The fact that you choose to keep your accounts so rigorously separated, probably for all the right reasons given your profession (ie strangers who see you perform look you up), doesn't mean he is obliged (as your partner) to uphold the same standards. I understand that him not being as vigorous could potentially put you at risk because maximizing your privacy on Facebook requires your friends to have similarly stringent settings. But this doesn't necessarily mean you get to dictate how he manages his accounts, unless this was something you had negotiated when you started the relationship and/or added one another on Facebook.

You googling him isn't a huge deal, it would have been better to simply ask what you wanted to find out though, more forthcoming. I prefer that word to honest because it encapsulates these sort of situations where a person does something furtively. But, again, why does it matter? Why does him using the same username for all his online accounts bother you so much? Is it a) you feel your partners should feel/behave the same as you, b) you fear he may compromise your security or c) you feel this difference in online account security is a fundamental incompatibility.

The answer to this one is B. It definitely a case of if people can find him from either direction (his personal name or his fetish community name), and I link to him one place with my personal name, and another place with my performing name, then suddenly, someone can use google for 30 seconds and link my two names together, and all my separation becomes meaningless. I did explain to him why I do things the way I do, when we first linked on facebook, and at the time I did not realize that his profile name (the name that shows in the link to a person's profile) was the same as his fetlife one. But you are correct, I should have been more clear and negotiated this.

Quote:

If its closer to a, my response is that you need to be less controlling. If its b, you need to understand that not everyone's circumstances warrant the kind of management you require and perhaps you should mention it before you add people and ensure they are willing to adhere to your standards. And if it's c, well, not much I can say.
So I guess the solution would be to simply not add his profile on my personal profiles then. So I guess that part is solved - he unfriended me.

Quote:

I wouldnt say you violated his privacy, but you weren't forthcoming about what you wanted to know and why you wanted to know it. That would be a red flag for me. If I felt this sort of thing was habitual, it would be a deal breaker. If I felt you thought my life had to mirror yours because we were in a relationship and now I was expected to make the same choices as you, I'd find that domineering and break up with you.
Part of our argument was that I thought I HAD asked him previously if he has other social media profiles, because I'm curious about him; so I wasn't really expecting to find anything except the ones he'd told me about, the gaming ones. He says I didn't, and that if I had he would have told me. So maybe I'm remembering incorrectly.

I do Thank you for your perspective. I think you hit the nail on the head about being forthcoming - he feels that I should have asked first. I don't quite understand that viewpoint - I use the internet for ...everything. If the information is out there on a public profile, and I am honest that I do look at public information about a person...? I do not see how that is domineering. But I am trying to understand it so maybe I can patch things up here.

GalaGirl 11-01-2013 01:17 PM

I'm sorry you are dealing in this. :(

Rather than argue about the percentage of "rightness" or "wrongness" could just apologize. I think in this case BOTH have a percentage in co-creating the situation, and subsequent behaviors in discussion.
  • When he acts out -- does that ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you nag does that ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you are dealing with an emotional flooding person, does adding MORE topics ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you try to solve many conflicts at once rather than one at a time -- does that HELP or HINDER?

Could do something like....
"I'm sorry my behavior upset you. I apologize. Could you forgive me and be willing to give me opportunity to make amends? And talk later when both are cooler about how to improve?"
STOP THERE. Then at a later time if all are willing...
Could we discuss how would you like me to behave in future when I do not know what your preferences are? Ask first?
What about my behavior was objectionable? What could I change?

On the flip side... here's what I'd like from you. TELL me your preferences ahead of time, don't hurl upset at me when info is public access, etc. Do not expect me to mind reader. "
And see if he wants to work with you to move it forward or just wants to keep it in the stuck. That tells you what his character is like.

MAIN ISSUES THAT SEEMED CAUSED HIS UPSET

  • He created a public access profile. He is mad his GF (a member of the public) accessed it.
  • He expected you to mind reader his preference that you NOT access it? Did not tell you his preferences up front?
  • You did not ask his computer life preferences FIRST before accessing it. Doesn't matter that it is public -- you could ask first anyway because you want to know your BF's preferences and show consideration.

I don't think you did anything horrible in reading his OKC thing -- it's a public access profile. You are a member of the public. If he doesn't want it accessed by members of the public, he could not put it out there. It is not a social faux pas.

You didn't HACK into anything. It is not a legal faux pas.

It would have been better to ask him up front whatever it is you want to know. It seems to be a preferences thing of his that you crossed. But if you did not know his preference you did not know. *shrug* You dinged him unintentionally.

The rest? It's just conflict resolution that is going haywire from trying to solve too many things at once. (Or so it seems to me. )

Could keep the laser beam focus one area at a time rather than adding side issues. It distracts from the focus.

My POV in blue:

Quote:

A - it is a public profile on a public site. He thought it was hidden and is now upset to find he did not hide it well enough. Fusspot at you = blameshift. He could own that he could do better if his want is to keep his stuff hidden. You do not control his stuff. He does.

B - this is exactly why I keep my performing and personal name separate. (he calls this a double standard, that I want to keep mine separate just in case someone googles them, but that I google his. ) Side issue -- now it is branching into YOUR computer stuff. Bring it on back to topic at hand, deal with that one later rather than changing the channel. The prob is not the Googling.

The prob is who he wants to have access to his OKC account.

If he wants public access or wants to not have to deal in management tasks -- leave it so and accept his GF is a member of the public.
If he wants less access, he could limit it more and/or tell you to not go there.
If he wants guaranteed zero access -- he could not have an OKC.
His behavior done/not done to serve his want of OKC privacy balanced against his want for how much management he wants to be doing. It is all in his control.


C - it concerned me that my personal name linked to his personal name that linked to his gaming/fetish name that linked to my performing/fetish name. Side issue. That is your problem for linking him to you. You control YOUR stuff. You could remove his name and stop "nagging" him for a "clean" account to link to. FB is not the world -- could talk to him over other venues. Then you have no need to be concerned about link-connection issues.

D - there is no violation of privacy if it is public information. Technically no violation of privacy. But not exactly being direct and just asking your BF what you want to know either. Or stating that you'd like to look at his OKC and if he'd be ok with it since it is public access anyway. Showing consideration.

E - one of the questions on his OKC profile is something to the effect of 'would you google someone you were curious about on okc' and his chosen answer was 'yes - knowledge is power' (so how, again, is this me having a double standard?) He's mad YOU googled HIM. He may want the power for HIM, but not others. Could ask him to clarify that statement as to how it would apply to his expectations of his GF.


F - one can only have as much privacy as one actively maintains. He says that he has not googled me and therefore I shouldn't do so to him or anyone else.

In other words, you should be a mind reader and know all he does or does not do by magic? Then adjust your behavior accordingly? Rather than him stepping up his active privacy management if he wants greater privacy? And telling you directly? If this is his expectation, it is not realistic. He could own that and update his expectation. Nobody is a mind reader.


I told him I don't care if he did - I trusted him, or he wouldn't know my full names - so if he wants to google, have at it. It was all the rest of the random people I don't trust. (Side issue. Because he does care. You changed the channel to "trust" and "about you" and what you value now rather than keeping it on the problem at hand and "about him" and what he values and trying to understand him in his context. That could be frustrating to him, esp if he's not great at conflict resolution without losing his cool.
Nobody can mind reader -- and he seems to expect you to. I would find that a turn off. He could learn to be more direct in his preferences and just make you aware. You could also step up and ASK first when you do not know. Help him help YOU.

I like low stress living -- I don't care for emotional outbursty. This is over the top response for what it is (to me). You both could work on that and your conflict resolution style.

Galagirl

london 11-01-2013 01:56 PM

@galagirl. Why does he need to keep his separate?

GalaGirl 11-01-2013 02:12 PM

He doesn't need to keep a separate username.

But if he wants to be free of upset that his GF accesses his OKC ... he could keep THAT separate by taking action.
  • He could tell his GF to not access it and that he expects her to honor his preference even though it is public access and she's a member of the public.
  • He could take steps to block whoever and limit his OKC acct accessibility and not rely on her word.
  • Do both the above.
  • Do something else like decide to not have an OKC.

Basically it's his account he runs it how he wants... but if how he runs it fails to meet his needs for privacy? That's his lookout.

Galagirl

london 11-01-2013 02:31 PM

Mm, I dont think that he's pissed about her seeing his OKC, I think he is annoyed about how she went about it. I have a blog, right? When I met my ex I asked him not to read it, yet. He agreed. He didnt have the link. Then I added him to my Fetlife account forgetting that it has my blog link on my profile. Still, we had a separate unrelated conversation before I added him to Fet about me not being ready for him to read it. Despite this, he did, and said if I didn't want him to, I shouldn't have added him to Fet. Pissed me off big time and probably tainted the rest of our fairly miserable relationship.

Piroska 11-01-2013 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 244208)
I'm sorry you are dealing in this. :(

Rather than argue about the percentage of "rightness" or "wrongness" could just apologize. I think in this case BOTH have a percentage in co-creating the situation, and subsequent behaviors in discussion.

Good point. I have been too wrapped up in thinking I'm right and he should be the one to apologize, but I'm starting to see that that is not the case.
Quote:

  • When he acts out -- does that ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you nag does that ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you are dealing with an emotional flooding person, does adding MORE topics ADD or TAKE AWAY from the problems?
  • When you try to solve many conflicts at once rather than one at a time -- does that HELP or HINDER?

When he loses his temper with me that makes a spiral of ickiness.
Same thing when I lose my temper with him.
I think we've both been trying very hard to curb it.
But being more aware of things like not nagging would help too.
Good point about not muddying it up by having so many topics at once.
Quote:

Could do something like....
"I'm sorry my behavior upset you. I apologize. Could you forgive me and be willing to give me opportunity to make amends? And talk later when both are cooler about how to improve?"
STOP THERE. Then at a later time if all are willing...
Could we discuss how would you like me to behave in future when I do not know what your preferences are? Ask first?
What about my behavior was objectionable? What could I change?

On the flip side... here's what I'd like from you. TELL me your preferences ahead of time, don't hurl upset at me when info is public access, etc. Do not expect me to mind reader. "
And see if he wants to work with you to move it forward or just wants to keep it in the stuck. That tells you what his character is like.
Alright, here is where I realize I may be totally at fault here. We had talked some before about my habit of wanting to have as much information as possible about someone I love. At one point he asked me not to do a search on his newest son or ex-girlfriend (see other thread for that), and purposely did not give me data to do that with (ex-girlfriend's last name).
So while I didn't deliberately break any boundaries searching his username, when I'd previously run a search on his personal name and place of employment, I'd told him I was doing so when I asked about his job. I probably should have realized that he wanted the same thing with this - telling him / asking first.
Quote:


MAIN ISSUES THAT SEEMED CAUSED HIS UPSET

  • He created a public access profile. He is mad his GF (a member of the public) accessed it.

I still don't understand this one. But it is correct.
Quote:

  • He expected you to mind reader his preference that you NOT access it? Did not tell you his preferences up front?

This one, had I stopped to really think about it rather than typing without thinking I might have figured it out. But no, he did not specify that he did not want me to read his OKC profile
Quote:

  • You did not ask his computer life preferences FIRST before accessing it. Doesn't matter that it is public -- you could ask first anyway because you want to know your BF's preferences and show consideration.

This is hard, because I assumed that it if was public he didn't mind the public reading it. But, as he's always telling me, I need to stop assuming things.
Quote:

I don't think you did anything horrible in reading his OKC thing -- it's a public access profile. You are a member of the public. If he doesn't want it accessed by members of the public, he could not put it out there. It is not a social faux pas.

You didn't HACK into anything. It is not a legal faux pas.

It would have been better to ask him up front whatever it is you want to know. It seems to be a preferences thing of his that you crossed. But if you did not know his preference you did not know. *shrug* You dinged him unintentionally.
I'm glad at least someone does not think I did anything horrible. (sigh)
Quote:

The rest? It's just conflict resolution that is going haywire from trying to solve too many things at once. (Or so it seems to me. )

Could keep the laser beam focus one area at a time rather than adding side issues. It distracts from the focus.
This is a good point. I do tend to argue from all sides at once.

A - That is how I see it
B - Right. I should not dilute the focus with how "I" would do it - he can do it however he wants.
C - Good point. I should let it go - and just not link to his profiles that have crossover that I do not want. Nagging doesn't help anything.
D - This might be his biggest issue - not showing consideration to his wishes. I will need to do better with this.
E - I would like to clarify that point. Because it does seem like a double standard if he reserves the right to search ME, but does not want me to search HIM. But maybe that is not how he intends it.
F - This is one of my biggest issues. I default assume that any info out in the public world is liable to be found by someone at any time. So if I don't want it found a certain way or by certain people, I do make an effort to limit the possibility of it. I don't feel that he should tell me he "doesn't care" that his personal name and fetish name are linked on one hand, and on the other hand get angry at me for finding something because they are linked. But I am seeing that talking about how I do things took the focus off how he wants to do things, and quite probably did increase his frustration.
Quote:

Nobody can mind reader -- and he seems to expect you to. I would find that a turn off. He could learn to be more direct in his preferences and just make you aware. You could also step up and ASK first when you do not know. Help him help YOU.

I like low stress living -- I don't care for emotional outbursty. This is over the top response for what it is (to me). You both could work on that and your conflict resolution style.

Galagirl
This is definitely something we need to work on. I have a huge issue with my temper, and while I have been trying really hard to limit and curb it, I do still lose it sometimes.
He also has a temper, so that does not help when I do something that pisses him off.
If we can get through this (seems like such a stupid thing to have a huge argument about!!) maybe that should be our priority, figuring out the conflict resolution thing.

Once again, Galagirl, you are a huge help.

Piroska 11-01-2013 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 244219)
He doesn't need to keep a separate username.
...
Basically it's his account he runs it how he wants... but if how he runs it fails to meet his needs for privacy? That's his lookout.

This is a more succinct way of stating what my point was - why I did not understand why he is so angry with me.

Piroska 11-01-2013 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by london (Post 244220)
Mm, I dont think that he's pissed about her seeing his OKC, I think he is annoyed about how she went about it. I have a blog, right? When I met my ex I asked him not to read it, yet. He agreed. He didnt have the link. Then I added him to my Fetlife account forgetting that it has my blog link on my profile. Still, we had a separate unrelated conversation before I added him to Fet about me not being ready for him to read it. Despite this, he did, and said if I didn't want him to, I shouldn't have added him to Fet. Pissed me off big time and probably tainted the rest of our fairly miserable relationship.

This really made me pause and think.

If I had been your ex? I would have been ok with not reading your blog if you didn't want me to. But when you linked profiles on fetlife with me, including the link to the blog, I would have assumed that it meant you were now ok with me reading anything on your fetlife account - photos, writings, links to blogs. In other words, I would have thought that it superseded the first conversation, especially if significant time had passed from the first conversation.

But, your explanation, makes me realize that maybe I assume too much. That if I were in such a situation that it would be better to proactively ask if reading the blog was okay now, since it was now accessible via linking the fetlife accounts, before just jumping in and reading it.


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