To her credit, she went on the Today show and made the pictures public. It’s her comments that I find interesting:
“I feel sick to my stomach. I really do,” Amy Polumbo told host Matt Lauer. “You know, they’re not that bad, but they were meant to be private. And it is making me feel very vulnerable that the entire country has to see them now because of this situation.”
Compared to pictures that have come out at different times, these are far from the worst. She is clothed in all of them, but the content is suggestive.
What I find interesting is this concept of privacy. It’s been coming up a lot recently. Google got in trouble for showing some compromising situations via Google Maps. Why? Because people have an expectation of privacy, even if they aren’t granted one by law.
For instance, if you’re in a public place (a beach, on the street, at a game), you have no expectation of privacy. And to some degree that makes sense– since it would be difficult for a photographer to get credit from random people that showed up in a shot, and if you’re on the street the odds are that you at least prepared to be there.
The problem comes into play when the camera catches something that you didn’t want to be photographed: hair that is windblown, a habit you didn’t want revealed, or (in the case of Amy Polumbo) some silly activity at a party.
You see, it’s one thing to expect a photo to be taken, it’s another thing to have one taken when you don’t expect it. And then there’s the audience– which can go from a few friends that you thought you knew to all over the Internet.
In this Internet age, can we expect privacy? But another question is this, in what circumstances do we expect privacy. I would posit that we expect privacy when we have something to hide or something we don’t want seen.
It is rare to find someone that doesn’t have some secrets from someone. However, in the world that we find ourselves in it is getting more difficult to keep that secret hidden. Whether it’s phone longs, credit card statements, Internet logs, people taking pictures– if there’s something that you’re doing that you shouldn’t or something you want hidden the odds are that it can be found out.
Which reminds me of the passage in the Bible that says we will give an account for what we have done You see, there’s no expectation of privacy from God. He sees and knows all.
So, Miss New Jersey is upset– not because of what she’s done but because it’s documented. Because she will give an account of what she’s done now.
How about us? What are we doing that we shouldn’t and would be embarrassed if we were caught on film?