Thursday, August 10, 2006


How most IT security professionals practice racism...

A coworker (Hi Geetha) said something very interesting that I wanted to share...

Last week, she mentioned to me that she didn't ever change her name at work to her husband's last name but did so on her drivers license. About the same time, another coworker was ranting about getting their account reset. Yet still, another coworker was ranting about IT security professionals and how they think.

Smashing all of this together made me think that we are encouraging practices that promote discrimination. I bet us US born developers never even thought for a moment that married women would not change their last name and that the dialog in most web sites that ask for your mother's maiden name wouldn't necessarily be the same?

Miminimally this does weaken security if our assumptions are that they are different when someone can obviously tell from place of origin that it is not. So does this practice discriminate against women? How come folks from India outsourcing firms that are taking lots of American jobs haven't had enough balls to say something about this common practice? In doing some homework, I did discover that folks from Iceland also observe similar practices.

The funny thing is that many men are now losing their own tradition and taking on the name of their wifes. Does not asking for maiden name discriminate against men who observe this practice? In applying the same logic to my own family, my wife's mom's last name is Rattan while her dad's last name is James. Should I be James McGovern Rattan or James McGovern James?

Anyway, from this point forward I will be starting a savage campaign in the blogosphere and elsewhere to stop the practice of web sites asking for folks maiden name. Will you join in and support this cause?

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