It has become a favourite Canadian daydream: What would I do if I won the lottery? Buy a new house? Pay off my family’s debts? Maybe go on a vacation. Maybe we should be wondering if we would go into hiding.
I realize this is hardly a Tech & Gadgets kind of post, but today’s news about a recent lottery-winning couple narrowly escaping a plot to kidnap and/or kill them struck a bit of chord with me.
Not that I think my chances of winning a lottery are so great that my family and I are at risk, heck we don’t even play the lotteries unless the jackpot gets north of $20 million. I’m more concerned about the way the accused 18 year old was able to get enough information about the couple to plan his intended abduction.
It’s quite well known that you grant lottery corporations the right to publicize your name and other details should you win the draw/game. Some folks have already decided to mitigate this by sending a legal representative to claim their wininings by proxy. Perhaps this would help. Clearly the winning couple from Quebec didn’t think this precaution was necessary.
But let’s consider the fact that lottery winners are not the only people who’s private information is made public. Do you have a MySpace page? Are you a FaceBook user? Perhaps you post your photos publicly on a site like Flickr. I’m sure many of you are savvy enough to keep your personal info private, but many more don’t give it enough thought. You might not be a freshly minted millionaire, but that doesn’t mean you have nothing of value.
What do you think? Are we all potential targets, freely giving our valuable information away to society’s opportunistic thugs? Or are lottery winners the only ones who should be taking extra care?
June 21 update: Apparently Loto-Quebec is now considering privacy for their winners.