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Is This the End of Forgetting?

Millions of people around the globe are confronting a relatively new problem -- how best to live their lives in a world where the Internet records everything.

According to a recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals are required by their companies require to do online research about candidates -- which may include using search engines, social-networking sites, photo- and video-sharing sites, and personal Web sites.  And 70 percent of U.S. recruiters have rejected candidates because of information found online, ranging from photos to discussion-board conversations to membership in controversial groups.

The New York Times reports:

“We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent -- and public -- digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening ... our ability to control our identities”.

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