So I was working on a project with a colleague (on her personal laptop) and when I downloaded an image file, it automatically went into a folder that I could tell by the preview thumbs were porn-y pictures, I think of her and her boyfriend. No, I didn't look at any of them. When I went to go and find the image, I realized the folder was called "for [her boyfriend's name]'s eyes only," but it was right there on the desktop! I don't want to embarrass her, and I guess it's not an issue of her getting fired since it's not a work computer, but I just feel like that is a really not-cool place for that stuff. But if I say something, it will be obvious that I saw them and she will think I was snooping around. What should I do?
Yessss! Finally, I get to pull the classic Dear Abby move of telling you to just anonymously send her this column! Although I guess getting a clipping in the mail would be deeply creepy. Maybe you can just make up a Gmail? Anyway. Do that Dear Abby shit. And also: wow, holy pickles. On the desktop?!?! I thought everybody knew by now to find some out-of-the way backwater to stick a folder and call it like "old system updates" or "Word 97 backup files" or something.
You didn't say, but I am guessing this is maybe a younger colleague? I can't help but wonder, based on other anecdata I have been privy to, if this is a Kids Today issue. I mean, you should all know that I am an official OLD, technology-wise: cell phones weren't totally ubiquitous until I was in COLLEGE. Which, yes, means that when I was in high school we totally had pagers (731 you guys).
So maybe it's like the same way that it would have been inconceivable to someone 15 years ago that we would all be cool with allowing corporations unfettered access to all of our personal information and communications (ahem, Facebook and Gmail) and that any old stalker could just google up life details about anyone without hiring a detective or using the phone book or whatever; Kids Today just expect that at some point pictures of their tits will be available over the internet, and what can you do?
In any case, while of course I don't think we should be ashamed of nudity or sexuality (and there is the possibility that this person is into having people find her pictures), it is only polite to realize that there are plenty of family members and colleagues and roommates who are uncomfortable with and not interested in seeing a picture of you deep-throating some dude while trying to aim the camera. You know? At the very least, it's unprofessional.
So, woman whose laptop this is, if you are reading this, maybe just go ahead and hide that folder somewhere inconspicuous and change the auto-download to go somewhere more innocuous if you are going to be sharing your computer.
Because even if you don't care if the whole world will eventually be able to find pictures of your taint on the internet, it's making people uncomfortable, which I guess is actually sexual harassment? I'm all for integrating home and work life but it has to be consensual, I think. In conclusion, 58008 to all my fellow pager olds.