I’m on yet another airplane, this time up to Seattle for another client meeting. I felt really bad for the non-English-speaker being berated by security at the airport for daring to bring 4.2 full ounces of liquid in his bag, as opposed to the 3 ounce limit.

Anyway, every now and then I see a convergence of different tidbits hitting from multiple directions that points to a single issue. This time it’s about controlling content after you make it public.

I’m consistently amused by the utter shock and dismay of various individuals and corporations when… gasp.. someone takes something they made public and does something… and you won’t believe this… unexpected and unapproved with it! How dare they share that file, deep link that news article, satirize that press release, re-work the data, or, worst of all, republish sale prices posted on a web site!

Here’s the thing- if you make something public, you can’t assume it won’t be used in unintended ways. From friends sharing that new song just discovered, to a website pre-posting sales prices before Black Friday.

I’m not saying it’s always legal, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t, but what I can say is that you’re foolish if you don’t prepare and plan for unintended use.

People are people. They do unexpected things during every moment of consciousness and unconsciousness. Security is fallible, and we can’t prevent everything.

If you make something public; heck, sometimes if you even share it privately, the only assumption you can make is that you can’t completely control what you release.

What’s the old saying? If two people know a secret it’s only really secret if one of them is dead.

Personally, I say knock them both off just to be safe.