2. Privacy - Notes

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2. Privacy - Notes

CIS 2 Computers and the Internet in Society

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.

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 module, 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.

Objectives: 2. Privacy

In this module, students

  • explore the topic of Privacy through textbook reading and related assignments
  • facilitate an online discussion about Privacy
  • visit DeAnza's Online Writing Center
  • 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

Study Guide: Privacy

These notes are guides to reading and studying the chapter of the textbook assigned for this module.

For the textbook reading for this module, here are some questions to get you thinking about the important concepts and information.

  • 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 a Google search for your own name. Are you listed? How is your name used? Are there other people with the same name listed? Are they anything like you?
  • What are some of the risks? What are some of the benefits? Do you think these are in balance?
  • Do you think "big brother" is watching you? What can you do about it?
  • Do you want to be told about special offers on products and services that you have used in the past and are likely to use again? Do you like the idea of target marketing? Why or why not?
  • 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?

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 these companies that abuse personal information understand that they too are at risk or are they protected to the hilt with anonymizers, encryption and privacy protection software?
  • Who am I if someone steals my identity?
  • What kind of benefit does the credit bureaus get for selling "header" information from credit files?
  • Do you think setting up rules for children under 13 is going to work?
  • How can we cope with these kind of computer crimes?
  • 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?
  • How does this reading relate to your own experiences, views, and ideas you have on the subjects?
  • 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?

Learn more...

  • Steal this blog - "Oversharing might result in more risk and unintended consequence than on might think, especially in the long run. If you’re comfortable being a human homing beacon, that’s fine, we just want you to be fully aware of what that means and the potential risk it might involve."
  • [Identity Theft: How To Avoid It]
  • [Identity Theft: What To Do If It Happens]