Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘privacy’

Could a right to be forgotten in Argentina threaten free-speech?

Carter, Edward L. “ARGENTINA’S RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN.” Emory Int’l L. Rev. 27 (2013): 23-661.

The twentieth century Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges wrote a fictional short story about a boy named Ireneo Funes who suffered the curse of remembering everything. For Funes, the present was worthless because it was consumed by his memories of the past. One contemporary author has described the lesson of Funes: “Borges suggests that forgetting—that is, forgetting ceaselessly—is essential and necessary for thought and language and literature, for simply being a human being.” The struggle between remembering and forgetting is not unique to Borges or Argentina, but that struggle has manifested itself in Argentina in poignant ways, even outside the writings of Borges. In recent years, the battle has played out in Argentina’s courts in the form of lawsuits by celebrities against the Internet search engines Google and Yahoo.

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Is privacy socially retrograde?

Cohen, Julie. “What Privacy Is For.” Harvard Law Review 126 (2013).

Privacy has an image problem. Over and over again, regardless of the forum in which it is debated, it is cast as old-fashioned at best and downright harmful at worst – antiprogressive, overly costly, and inimical to the welfare of the body politic. The consequences of privacy’s bad reputation are predictable: when privacy and its purportedly outdated values must be balanced against the cutting-edge imperatives of national security, efficiency, and entrepreneurship, privacy comes up the loser. The list of privacy’s counterweights is long and growing. The recent additions of social media, mobile platforms, cloud computing, data mining, and predictive analytics now threaten to tip the scales entirely, placing privacy in permanent opposition to the progress of knowledge. Yet the perception of privacy as antiquated and socially retrograde is wrong…

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Could users be empowered to auction their information online?

Kamleitner, Bernadette, et al. “Information bazaar: a contextual evaluation.”ACM HotPlanet workshop. 2013.

The rise in the number of smart devices has created a large  ecosystem centred on users’ personal information and online activities. Numerous smartphone applications and social networking sites harvest and catalogue users’ personal information, enabling brokers such as Google and Facebook to provide a platform for advertisers to use this information for targeted advertising. Despite the fact that the users of these services are at the heart of this ecosystem, there has been little effort in understanding individuals’ perception of the value of their personal data in different contexts and situations. In this work, we present the results of our large-scale, contextual study over ten days that used smartphones to collect data on user activities, location, and companionship, as well as the amount of money that individuals attach to such information. Our results indicate that people can be remarkably sensitive to situational cues and also be prone to valuation biases. This study represents a first step towards providing insights into the usefulness of a marketplace for information, where users, or their agents, can freely decide to auction off various pieces of their information within established contexts.

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What are the Security and Privacy Concerns raised by BYOD?

Keith W. Miller, Jeffrey Voas, George F. Hurlburt (2012) BYOD: Security and Privacy Considerations, Published by the IEEE Computer Society

Clearly, there are several important advantages for employees and employers when employees bring their own devices to work. But there are also significant concerns about security (where the employers have more to lose) and privacy (where the employees have more to lose). Companies and individuals involved—or thinking about getting involved—with BYOD should think carefully about the risks as well as the rewards. At the same time, there must be realization that the next generations of “digital natives” will likely have strong BYOT expectations.

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How do users manage their privacy on social media sites?

Mary Madden (2012) Privacy management on social media sites, Pew Research Center

As social media use has become a mainstream activity, there has been an increasingly polarized public debate about whether or not “privacy” can be dismissed as a relic in the information age. On one side of the debate is what might be called the privacy-is-dead camp. On the other side, some advocates and scholars argue that the public still cares deeply about their privacy online but those sensitivities have been ill-served by technology companies that stand to profit from more widespread sharing and availability of personal information. Yet, social science researchers have long noted a major disconnect in attitudes and practices around information privacy online. When asked, people say that privacy is important to them; when observed, people’s actions seem to suggest otherwise. This report addresses several questions about the privacy settings people choose for their social networking profiles, and provides new data about the specific steps users take to control the flow of information to different people within their networks.

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How does technology lead individuals to disclose sensitive information?

Laura Brandimarte, Alessandro Acquisti, George Loewenstein (2010) Misplaced Confidences: Privacy and the Control Paradox, In: Ninth Annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) June 7-8 2010 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

We introduce and test the hypothesis that increasing perceived control over the release of private information will decrease individuals’ concern about privacy and increase their propensity to disclose sensitive information, even when the objective risks associated with such disclosures do not change or worsen. Three online experiments manipulated participants’ control over information release, but not over access and usage by others. The experiments show paradoxical effects whereby increased (decreased) control over the release of private information increases (decreases) willingness to publish sensitive information, even when the probability that strangers will access that information stays the same or increases (decreases). Our findings highlight how technologies that make individuals feel more in control over the release of personal information may have the unintended consequence of eliciting greater disclosure of sensitive information.

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Is there such a thing as Privacy Online? Let’s be realistic and talk about Contextual Integrity…

Helen Nissenbaum (2004) Privacy as Contextual Integrity, WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW, 2004

This Article, which extends earlier work on the problem of privacy in public, explains why some of the prominent theoretical approaches to privacy, which were developed over time to meet traditional privacy challenges, yield unsatisfactory conclusions. It posits a new construct, “contextual integrity,” as an alternative benchmark for privacy, to capture the nature of challenges posed by information technologies. Contextual integrity ties adequate protection for privacy to norms of specific contexts, demanding that information gathering and dissemination be appropriate to that context and obey the governing norms of distribution within it. Building on the idea of “spheres of justice,” developed by political philosopher Michael Walzer, this Article argues that public surveillance violates a right to privacy because it violates contextual integrity; as such, it constitutes injustice and even tyranny.

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