Friday, February 17, 2012

Adele, and Projectile Privacy

From a recent 60 Minutes Anderson Cooper interview with singer, Adele... 

Cooper: Have you ever thrown up?

Adele: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. A few times.

Cooper: Really?

Adele: Yeah. Projectile. Yeah. 'Cause it just comes (makes noise) it just comes out. It does.

That kind of candid talk is typical Adele. She is naturally generous with the details of her life, but her success is changing that. Fed up with paparazzi staking out her home in London, she's just rented this very large, but very private home in the English countryside.

Adele: This here, this is just safety, this house. Come on Louie!

Anderson: That's why you're out here? Just because...for privacy?

Adele: Yeah.

She's learned about fame, the hard way. In the past, too many personal details of her life ended up in the tabloid press. So she set traps to catch the sources...

Adele: I plant stories and see who leaks them and then I get rid of 'em, yeah.

Cooper: Really? So you would tell them something that--

Adele: I'd tell, like, a group of people who I was suspicious of, I'd tell them a different story with different details in it, but all roughly the same story so I could keep my eye on it. And then when I knew it would come out, yeah, I knew who it was. (more)

When it comes to snoops, electronic eavesdropping and information leaks, Adele is on the right track; keep a low profile, tie the criminal to the crime by testing for leaks, then stomp on their toes (usually with a law suit). There is more to this privacy protection technique, of course. In fact, a whole chapter ("Test for Leaks") is devoted to a privacy protocol I developed for our corporate clients in, "Is My Cell Phone Bugged?" (chapter preview here)