Although I prefer that this particular BB not be publicized outside the ich-community, I am in full favour of a greater general awareness of ichthyosis and encourage anyone to offer information about ich in any appropriate public or private setting, including blogs.

However, given that we are discussing privacy issues, I would like to give my opinion on the posting of children's full names.

I personally don't want to be a poster-boy for a medical condition or have my name associated with a medical condition every time *my name* is googled. As such, like many others here, I am very particular about not disclosing personal details whenever posting.

In my own situation, political statements I made over ten years ago on the Net remain accessible to this day. I work in a field where political leanings have a bearing on how professional contacts perceive me. Whilst I would like to disassociate myself from this same information that I disclosed in the past, I cannot, as there is a relative "permanence" to some archived sources on the Net.

There is the possibility of similar "permanence" when disclosing the full names of the children on public forums such as this BB. If a doctor were to publicly release medical details of a child, a parent would denounce the breach of confidentiality and privilege. Yet it is easy to forget that by attaching a child's name to discussions here when disclosing medical specifics often in far greater detail and in much more colloquial terms than any medical file, the child's medical details are similarly made part of the public domain. It is difficult to predict how such personal and private information may impact on future circumstances in that child's life. In years to come, anyone from a schoolyard bully to a business associate could possibly have access to this information.

To further stress how internet investigations are increasingly become routine practice, when my current employer looks into the background of an individual, investigators will go as far as searching profiles on MySpace.

I am not being critical of anyone or aiming to cause worry. Many adults willing disclose their names here and are quite comfortable doing so. It's a personal choice. But being someone who is not comfortable with all and sundry having access to my medical specifics, I feel compelled to raise the privacy issues related to publicly disclosing a child's full name in relations to medical details on some internet sites.

[This message has been edited by gryphon (edited November 12, 2006).]