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Privacy (or Lack Thereof)

Monday, June 13 2005

While filling a prescription for antibiotics this morning at Walgreen’s, the clerk handed me a clip board with the printed names and signatures of 56 people and the medicines they were picking up. I scanned the list out of curiosity and saw some names I thought I recognized with fancy drug names scratched out. Some people had written things like “birth control” or “prozac”. The quick scan revealed no “viagra”, which I suppose is comforting in a way.

She asked that I fill out the form on line 57, and said “this is to show that you’ve accepted our privacy policy”. Having become utterly dumbfounded at the lack of privacy this privacy acceptance form presented, I became a bit surly and rebelled in my own way (albeit childish and not very clever). For my name I printed “George Walker Bush” and “cocaine” under drug (it was literally the first thing I thought – I don’t have a huge axe to grind over that, but like I said, childish and not very clever).

She took the clip board back and didn’t even look at what I’d written. I planned to play it off with a smile and explain that I wasn’t comfortable signing something so obviously not private. I figured she wouldn’t care anyhow. I didn’t have to do any of that as it turns out.

Now I can’t stop thinking about what other clever names I could have come with and something within the fog of my cold medicine filled head is crying out about how completely messed up their privacy policy acceptance form is. But those voices are gone, and I sort of wish I’d been less political and put “Bob Marley”, “Hash Hish” or something peaceful, and smile inducing.