Facebook – Nude Student Photos and a College IT Administrator: Robert T. DeCampos, Jr. – Dumb and Dumber!

March 6, 2009

I never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of what people will do with social networking.  Dumb – don’t put nude pictures on your facebook account!  That most would say that is common sense, but it seems that “common sense” goes out the window with some folks when it comes to their Facebook or MySpace pages.

Perhaps someone will get a clue – these are public and can be found!

ADVICE:  Don’t put anything on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or any other site that you wouldn’t want your mother or boss to see.  If you feel that you could be fired or severely scolded for your entries – don’t put it on the site.

Enough Said!  facebook-logo

CRIMINAL ACTIVITY:

According to SouthCoasttoday.com – Robert T. DeCampos Jr., 30, a Dartmouth resident, and computer administrator, faces charges that he illegally obtained nude and semi-nude photos of about 16 female students by hacking into their UMass e-mail accounts and Facebook files.

What did he allegedly do and how?  According to published reports:

His first step, according to court documents, was to search Facebook for female UMass Dartmouth students. Next, he checked the names with the campus Web site.

Then he would use his administrative authority to access their e-mail, where he would attempt to log into their personal Facebook accounts. When that failed because he lacked their Facebook passwords, he would have Facebook send a link for a new password back to their e-mail. The hacker would then open the e-mail to reset the password, then enter Facebook with all the privileges and access of the student.

At that point he could view all of the students’ photographs, including private ones, and do further searches for their friends.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The university fired Mr. DeCampos last fall after police searched his home and found a portable flash drive containing the photos. Mr. DeCampos, who was released on his own recognizance after the arraignment, is being charged with 13 misdemeanor counts of unauthorized access, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and $13,000 in fines. He is also being charged with one count of felony larceny, which could mean up to a five-year jail term and a $25,000 fine.

The Boston Herald also reported:  “Robert T. DeCampos Jr. also attempted to snap “upskirt” images of shoppers at an electronics store in Dartmouth, authorities said yesterday, following a four-month probe into the alleged cyber snooping, according to the New Bedford Standard-Times.”

THOUGHTS:

It appears obvious that DeCampos (while innocent until proven guilty) is experiencing the consequences of his choices.  As an ethics speaker, there is little doubt that DeCampos will likely serve time in prison for his actions.  But there is another question that deserves attention: why would someone put nude or partially nude photos on Facebook?  Is there really a thougth that Facebook is private – that there are no consequences of the student’s actions?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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Facebook, Photo’s and Firing! Nurses Fired for Posting Cell Phone Pictures to Facebook … Comments by Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

February 26, 2009

An article on WISN.com caught my attention and the attention of CNN – as they reported on a nurse who was fired for her (ethical lapse) – choices regarding a photo and comments.  cell-phone

So here’s part of the story as posted by WISN.com:

Nurses accused of photographing a patient and posting the pictures on the Internet have been fired.

The investigation started with an anonymous call from an employee at Mercy Walworth Medical Center in Lake Geneva, with the allegation that a nurse took pictures of a patient with her cell phone and posted them on her Facebook page.

Now before I continue with the story – lesson #1.  DON’T POST STUFF ON FACEBOOK that might be questionable.  A simple rule of thumb…if you think that your employer or your mama would not like your posting – DON’T PUT IT ON THE SITE (or anywhere else on the internet).  It can be found.  It will be found.  And, it will be used against you!

The story goes on to say:

Last week, the nurse told 12 News she never posted the pictures on the Internet. Investigators have since interviewed the nurse and said she offered more details.

“There were two nurses that independently took a picture each of an X-ray of a patient,” Walworth County Undersheriff Kurt Picknell said.

The patient was admitted to the emergency room with an object lodged in his rectum. Police said the nurse explained she and a co-worker snapped photos when they learned it was a sex device. Police said discussion about the incident was posted on her Facebook page, but they haven’t found anyone who actually saw the pictures.

The nurse removed her Facebook page from the Internet last week. Without more, Picknell said this conduct does not appear to violate any state laws. He has referred the case to the FBI.

“We’ve notified federal authorities of this allegation to see if there are federal violations, most notably HIPAA violations, patient rights,” he said.

OUCH!  FBI.  Those three letters are worse than the IRS.

A similar story was reported on December 29, 2008 – same story but posted to MySpace.  As a ethics speaker, I wonder (often) why people believe that their pages on MySpace – Facebook or any other free social networking site are somehow theirs and not public information?  And it’s not the adults that are the only folks with that attitude.  As I speak to University students around the country – they seem to have the same attitude.  They feel that their drunken party photos that have been posted and tagged should be off limits to employers who are considering them for a position.

That is not reality.  Reality is – what you post you are accountable for.

Every choice has a consequence.  This is not the first such example and it won’t be the last.  One thing is for sure, as social networks grow more and more people will be called to task for their postings.  Social networks are wonderful, but be cautious, be careful and avoid the FBI…!


Social Networking, Social Media, Social Web and Ethics – Are They Compatable? Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments!

January 29, 2009

For a 51 year old former Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing, current business ethics speaker and fraud prevention consultant, I am finding web 2.0 and/or social media (or whatever title you give it) to be a vast open space for opportunity and/or disaster. And for those of us who are growing into this new frontier the pitfalls can be dramatic and costly.

One year ago I had no clue what web 2.0 was or meant. Frankly neither did most of my counterparts. Those of us in the Baby Boom generation just didn’t get it. As far as we were concerned sites like MySpace and Facebook were for kids. And, frankly, we didn’t have a clue what the fascination was all about. Just really seemed like a colossal waste of time. Either the “young” folks were texting – seemed like speed dial and a call was quicker – or they were writing in some unknown code that was designed to keep those of us with budding grey hair confused. And confused we were.

Then, for reasons I still don’t fathom, I began – like many others of my generation – to find some attraction to just what the fuss was all about. Viola…Baby Boomers connect and the world for us changes.

AMAZING FACTS:

According to site analytics reported on in compete.com for December 2008 the following amazing statistics are available:istock_000007298729small

Number of Unique Visitors:

Facebook 59,675,502

MySpace 59,544,152

LinkedIn 9,349,996

In all three cased the number of people visiting these sites increased for the month of December 2008 and increased for the year for both Facebook and LinkedIn.

IMPACT FOR ADULT SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS:

While the number of uses for MySpace (mostly high school and college aged users) has remained flat, the more adult related sites has skyrocketed. The number of unique visitors to LinkedIn over 2008 has increased 153.9% and unique visitors to Facebook has increased 85.7%. While there may be those who disagree, I submit that the great majority of the increased visitorship to these sites is coming from adult users that are beginning to learn how to tap into the value of social media connections.

The growth is incredible as I am seeing daily (yes daily) the number of people in the Baby Boom group who are beginning to figure out that they will be left behind if they don’t join the social media revolution. The message that one might share is instantaneous and the access to data is vast. The power for branding, marketing and media messaging is limited only by the narrowness of ones mind.

INTERCONNECTED – FOR BETTER OR WORSE:

First, let me say, you do have control over when and how you use these tools. That said, the reality is you are interconnected. For example I am working with a social media site called twitter. Now for those who twitter it makes perfect sense (I guess). For me, well…I’m trying to figure it out. But one thing I do know is that since my twitter postings are linked to my facebook account, every time I make a post to twitter my facebook is updated.

That interconnection can be a great benefit. But, it has to be one that is managed. As a baby boomer and professional speaker and consultant I quickly got the value of these social media site from a marketing and branding perspective. And, I promise for those who really get it, I’m no where close to truly maximizing the value that can be gained there.

Here’s an example of the power of social media at work. As I began writing this blog I posted a comment on twitter (which like Facebook and LinkedIn is growing exponentially). I stated that I was writing this article and would be open to suggestions. The request was posted on twitter – which linked to my facebook page. Just a moment ago I looked on my facebook page and has two responses, both of which were very helpful.

Here are their comments with some minor edits:

A professor from Texas writes: “Who owns my data?” Guess what – Facebook owns what you put on your profile. Not you. Take your page down? Doesn’t matter, they still have, and own, that information.

A professional speaker from Florida writes: I am amzaed how social media has taken off the way it has…. I do not like it when people think it is the perfect place to push their MLM or any other products or services.

Don’t get me wrong I think that MLMs are a great business to get into. But please first read the secret behind “Permission Marketing” as taught by Seth Godin. If you use this (read More Strategy )it does work. I know I have people who write me and call me and I don’t really know them but they feel like I am there best friend. This is all done by “Permission Marketing” not by pushing yourself upon your friends list.

Also becareful what you post on someone’s “Wall” where everyone can read it. I will sometimes post something on their Wall and then follow-up with a direct private message to further explain the details or the private information. There are somethings you don’t want everyone to know without the permission of the other parties involved.

ETHICS, CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES:

Every choice has a consequence. Every time you call someone or write a note, you make a choice that has a consequence. Perhaps your call or note is received with joy and the consequence is deemed positive. Likewise, many in turbulent economic times are receiving calls or notes that result in the loss of jobs and – the consequence is much different.

The same applies to every entry or contact in a social media environment. I, for example, write about ethics and fraud – white collar crime mostly. I am aware that with the touch of the keyboard, I publish data that some find helpful and refreshing and others find offensive. Believe me I have heard from those who do find my work distasteful. In any event, I understand that the way we interact on the web is much different and substantially more powerful than what we have previously been accustomed.

So here are some questions (feel free to comment below – who knows where the dialogue will take us):

  • If you use social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for business promotion, are you concerned more about your privacy or the promotion of your business?
  • If you had to choose between LinkedIn or Facebook – which site would you select and what motivates that selection?
  • If you use Facebook, do you feel that it is ethical to look at the friends of your friends and request a connection to them?
  • Would you rather expand your network of “friend” or “connections” or maintain your privacy?
  • How do you feel social media networking is different than networking – say through a chamber of commerce event?

As times passes, like with anything, we will all learn and grow. Meanwhile, the issues of what, how and where to use social media and what is fondly called web 2.0 are unfolding.

One last comment before this entry is closed out… As I speak often to university students I find that they too have an amazement at this whole social media issue. This comment just came through on my facebook page. It is accurate and demonstrates just how we need to think about the balance between social, marketing and privacy. Here’s the comment:

Fascinating. I find the balance of being public and yet wanting privacy control a tight balance. Companies are using FB as an HR research/background tool.

Your comments are welcome…