2. Privacy and Freedom of Speech

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

  • Privacy represents an important area of society that is being impacted by computers. Just Google for your favorite recording artist or movie star. They don't have much privacy - there are pictures of them everywhere. Their personal information is very public.

  • Freedom of speech takes on new meaning in cyberspace. While it is possible for repressive regimes to control print and broadcast media, it is much more difficult to control online publication. This is especially true when the source of the information is outside the jurisdiction of those endeavoring to control speech.

Your personal information may not be so public, but it could be. See how easy it is to find your phone number and address using one of the online services. While this great if old friends are trying to reach you, it could be a problem if the interested is unwanted.

In this topic, we will look at issues surrounding privacy and how to protect your personal information. The "worst case" is identity theft - a growing problem that is extremely hard for the victim to recover from. Being aware of these issues is an important first step.

Learning outcomes

  • explore the topic of Privacy through reading, media and related assignments
  • facilitate an online discussion about Privacy
  • explore web resources associated with this topic
  • learn about blogging and personal publishing on the web
  • consider how society is impacted by the application of computers and the Internet to Privacy issues


  • privacy, risks, data collection, surveillance, Fourth Amendment, personalization, privacy regulations, public records, communications interception, encryption, freedom of speech, media, spam, offensive speech, censorship, anonymity, net neutrality

Study questions

  • How do you feel about your own privacy when you are using technology? Are you more or less concerned than transacting in other media?
  • How safe is your personal information?
  • Do you think "big brother" is watching you?
  • Should we have a National ID system? What difference would it make?
  • If more health data was collected, researchers could cure more health problems. Do you agree? Would you allow you health records to be shared with researchers if your personal identity were hidden?
  • Is there a right to privacy? How far should that extend? What limits are necessary?
  • How has the internet changed the meaning and application of the First Amendment's protection of freedom of the press?
  • What is offensive speech? What should be prohibited or restricted by law in cyberspace?
  • What must be done to protect children in cyberspace? How is this different from protection elsewhere?
  • How is the Communications Decency Act being viewed by supporters and opponents?
  • What are some of the outcomes that could result from the global nature of the internet? Access to information? Different points of view? Lies and propaganda?
  • Should anonymity be allowed? Encouraged? Protected?
  • To what extent can new communities develop over the internet? Are these "real" communities? What makes them special?
  • Is the internet a communication system that is totally neutral - without conscience, principle or morality?

Study Questions from Former Students

  • Should distribution of information online and offline be regulated more strictly?
  • How do privacy regulations in the United States differ from those in the European Union?
  • Do the people who work for the companies that abuse personal information understand that they too are at risk or are they protected with anonymizers, encryption and privacy protection software?
  • Who am I if someone steals my identity?
  • What kind of benefit does a credit bureau get for selling "header" information from credit files?
  • Do you think setting up rules for children under 13 is going to work?
  • Is there any way we can check when people steal our information?
  • Do we need tracking devices or will they end our rights to privacy?
  • Do you think there really is such a thing as personal information if everyone has access to it?
  • What do you do to prevent cyber-attacks?

Icon multimedia.gif



Commentary: GDPR: Will It Transform U.S. Corporate Titans? | Fortune
Getting individuals to check one box agreeing to a thousand words of terms and conditions is no longer acceptable by EU standards. The terms must now be written clearly, consent for each term must...
A techie’s rough guide to GDPR — Cennydd Bowles
A large global change in data protection law is about to hit the tech industry, thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR affects any company, wherever they are in the w...
Profiled: A Brief History of Identification Technologies | The Lowdown | KQED News
facial recognition technology is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives. Facebook and Google use it for auto-tagging photos. Snapchat uses it to create silly filters. And Apple’s new iPhon...
NSA Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation
"The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communica...
How to Tell If A Website Is Dangerous | Gizmo's Freeware
be wary of a site if it asks you for unnecessary personal information, a credit card number, or a bank number when it's not necessary. This could be evidence of them phishing for your sensitive...
6 Terrifying User Agreements You've Probably Accepted
You've probably signed off on thousands of pages of dense, unread legal jargon in your life. Well, guess what, you've all but signed away your soul. We're not saying that the below comp...
Identity Theft Recovery Steps | IdentityTheft.gov
"Recovering from identity theft is easier with a plan. What To Do Right Away Did someone steal and use your personal information? Act quickly to limit the damage.Step 1: Call the companies whe...
5 Best Free Parental Control & Kids Monitoring Android Apps | FromDev
Sometimes giving your kids the latest technology gadgets can cause a sigh of distress to you as you cannot be certain about the bill amount or over usage and downloading of data. The fact that givi...


How Europe is better at protecting data than the U.S. — and what the Stasi and Nazis have to do with it - MarketWatch
"The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will explicitly ban companies from soliciting personal data for one reason and then using it for another. It will slap potentially stratospheric...
Commentary: GDPR: Will It Transform U.S. Corporate Titans? | Fortune
Getting individuals to check one box agreeing to a thousand words of terms and conditions is no longer acceptable by EU standards. The terms must now be written clearly, consent for each term must...
A techie’s rough guide to GDPR — Cennydd Bowles
A large global change in data protection law is about to hit the tech industry, thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR affects any company, wherever they are in the w...
Report: A Trustmark for IoT – ThingsCon
"Consumers have little insight into what any one connected product does, what it even might be capable of, or if the company employs good, responsible data practices. This is not an oversight...
The future of the Internet of Things depends on this (Opinion) - CNN
"Right now, the Internet of Things is at an inflection point. It's pervasive but also still in its infancy. Rules have yet to be written, and social mores yet to be established. There are...
Dos and Don’ts. Display the poster below in your classroom and consider sending a copy home with students. Alternatively, why not have students create their own posters or bookmarks with tips abo...
Updated Password Advice: What Teachers and Students Need to Know – The Edublogger
"The advice around passwords has recently been updated and while there are varying opinions, this post will help you learn about the current best practices.Passphrases are usually longer than...


  1. Before you start the reading and the assignments, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about the topic - Privacy and Freedom of Speech. Write a sentence or two about this in the I know... discussion.

  2. Read the Study notes for an overview for the topics that will be covered.

  3. Read, view, listen to several selections in the Selected media list. There is no textbook for this course, so you will have to determine how many of these resources to read and watch. Use the study questions and assignments to guide your research. Have you found answers to most of the questions? If not, look for other sources of information. This is self-directed learning.

  4. Choose 2 words from the Keywords list. Find at least resource that provides information about the words and how they relate to the course. Post the words, links to your selected resource, and a brief description about your selections, to the discussion Privacy and Freedom of Speech keywords.
    Review 2 other resources in the discussion, and write a brief reply for each.

  5. If you haven't read the course Syllabus - CIS 2 Computers and Society, do it NOW. There is a lot of important information here.

  6. Review the Discussion participation section on managing emails from discussions.

  7. To gauge your personal risk, and find tips for lowering it, take the safety quiz at IDsafety.net. http://idsafety.net/

  8. Add a small picture to accompanies your posts in the discussion forum. Edit your profile - any small image file can be uploaded. For best results, it should be 100x100 pixels in size. Click on the "?" help button in your profile for additional information.

  9. Find one resource that talks about privacy and computers that you think is particularly interesting. Write a brief summary of the key point and a "critical thinking" question about the social issues discussed. What is the impact on society? Why is this important? Be sure your question will encourage discussion on why this is important. Post the web address of the Privacy resource you selected, a sentence that prompted your question, and your question to discussion topic Privacy and Personal Information. Facilitate your discussion and participate in at least 2 other discussions.

  10. Blog -- (weB LOG) - A blog is a journal that is available on the web. The activity of writing articles or journal entries on a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated frequently using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions or "posts" at the top. Video logs (vlogs) are increasing in popularity as more people have the ability to record and play video.

    Search the web and find a blog or vlog on a topic that interests you. This could be an expert in a particular field or just someone who records a personal journal that is good reading/viewing. There are many directories of blogs and vlogs, too. Write 3-4 sentences describing the blog or vlog that you selected, and post it along with the web address to discussion Blogs/Vlogs of Interest.
    Visit several of the other blogs/vlogs in the discussion and comment on at least 2. What does blogging/vlogging indicate about society today? Do you have your own blog/vlog? What is your point of view? Why do you blog/vlog? How often do you add new entries? Do you follow others regularly? Which ones? Why?

  11. Just like a tattoo, your digital reputation is an expression of yourself. It is highly visible, and hard to remove. Explore how your online identity affects you, your friends, your school and your job - for better and for worse - and how to make informed choices. Take the self-assessment at Digital Tattoo http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/quizzes/protect-what-would-you-do/

  12. Learning Literacies - Protect it - Digital Citizenship. We have already looked at a number of these issues. Here is an opportunity to review 2-3 articles in the Protect it media selections, and then search online for another good resource on the topic. Rate 2 articles. Post a link and a brief summary of the reasons for each of your selections to the Learning Literacies - Protect it discussion. Review 2 others.

  13. Reflection - Read Things You Really Need to Learn http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2006/08/things-you-really-need-to-learn.html What is the best advice? What would you add? This should be 3-4 sentences. Use the I think... 2 assignment to submit your note.

2013.09 2045. 2016.6 4478.