Consider this post to be your daily reminder to check your social network privacy settings–too much transparency could cost you your insurance benefits, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Nathalie Blanchard, a Granby resident, says she’s suffering from severe depression that has made it impossible for her to work full-time for the past 18-months.
She says her sick leave payments were cut after insurance giant Manulife obtained profile pictures on Facebook showing her at bars, whooping it up during her birthday and on a beach holiday.
Blanchard, who lives in Quebec province, said her doctor told her to go have some fun, but apparently her insurer thought she was having too much to be depressed. According to another CBC article, the moments of revelry didn’t cure her condition:
“In the moment I’m happy, but before and after I have the same problems” as before, she said.
She’s taking them to court, in what should be an interesting case to test social media’s reach into the real world. The case suggests a host of other difficult questions: Can insurance companies raise your premiums if they see a picture of you smoking a cigarette on the internet? Will the court decide you can make a medical diagnosis from a Facebook picture? What about a weekend’s worth of happy tweets?
Another take home lesson, kids, is that should you make headlines, for whatever dubious reason, your Facebook pics will also be on the news. However in this case, Blanchard offered up her photos to get her story to the media. ABC News has a short video interview with Blanchard on their site.
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Feeling stressed or sad? Before you succumb to the blues, try standing under a blue light. Several cities around the world claim to have reduced suicides, crime, and even traffic accidents by installing blue lights in the public spaces.
In Glasgow, Scotland, blue streetlights installed in 2000 have reduced street crimes noticeably. In Japan, a country notorious for its high suicide rates—authorities say in 2007 alone there were 640 suicides attempted by jumping in front of oncoming trains—two railroad companies have turned to light therapy. After blue lights were installed on station platforms and near railway crossings, the number of suicide attempts dropped to zero. Also in Japan, hundreds of blue lights have been installed along highways and rest stops. An expressway operator said trash cans near blue lights received 20 percent less garbage.
Hello sunshine! Unless you strolled into work an hour late today, you’re probably celebrating the commencement of daylight saving time. Here in New York City, an hour of sunshine has moved from about 6:15 am—when we shrink from it and exclude it from our bedrooms—to 6:15 pm, when we can emerge from our offices to luxuriate in its warmth and embrace the opportunities for outdoor leisure activities. Even if the “lost” hour of sleep makes you drag a bit on the first morning, the sunnier afternoons are well worth that supplementary cup of coffee.