Tag Archives: privacy

My First Attempt in Google Scholar

In my first attempt into using Google Scholar I was able to find interesting resources that could be useful for my research topic. I was able to target this information by implementing specific keywords that were related to my topic. One of the books that came up was called Regulating Privacy: Data Protection and Public Privacy in Europe and the United States, By Colin J. Bennett. One of the main questions that this book focuses on is how do these two different regions with cultural differences react to the issues of privacy. The book also gives brief reasoning in to why the Americans and the Europeans have reacted the way they’ve done towards their privacy laws. This book is focusing primarily in to the cultural influence issues that what I will like to write about in my research paper. Like when it states, “The way in which different political systems have regulated the collection, storage, and communication of personal information may tell us about their cultural, ideological and institutional settings as well.” A big portion of my research paper will be based upon the influence of the cultural differences between Europe and the U.S. and how this different cultures and ideologies can have an impact in their concerns towards their privacy laws. So overall, for now, my first attempt and experience in Google Scholar has been pretty useful so far.

-Astrid Sarmiento


Online Privacy: A Big Scam

The article of Online Privacy by Patrick Marshall, discusses in depth the privacy of important personal data that is stored online such as credit-card numbers and bank account information to family photos and histories of their online purchases. He goes on to stating how the personal data that is stored online doesn’t have the same legal protection as it would if you were protecting it at the comfort of your own home. The reason behind this is because we always have hackers and advertisers who always find a way to steal your information. Hackers will hack into your system and steal your identity. While advertisers are also able to track down the websites you visit. They’re also able to view the actions you take on these websites in order to sell you products effectively according to your interests.

For example, on Facebook, if you were to put in your hobbies/interests  graphic design and art. On the right corner you will instantly see ads like Want to be a Graphic Designer? Come study at Full Sail University or Visit the Museum of Modern Art for the latest exhibit. Pressing in any of these links and sharing your information is also dangerous because you can never be too sure if an ad is really authentic or not. As tempting as these ads might sound to our own personal interests, we also need to keep in mind that not every link and ad online is trustworthy. You can also be at risk of giving a virus to your computer when pressing these links. Some advertisers are only behind the evil scheme when they try to sell you products online.

Many of them are only looking out to scam people especially those with good credit. Advertisers might also tried to sell the information that they have collected from you to others. This is why many people in congress are urging and fighting for a law to be passed down that will be able to protect the personal data of online users. But many Republicans believe that too much regulation will just deprive users from going to certain websites and that it will also just cripple down the economic structure of the Internet. I believe this statement is some what true for example, in iTunes, to set-up an account you need a credit card now. I have already heard many people complaining about this issue. I’m guessing that iTunes is using this method as a means to verify your age, or at least I would hope so.

-Astrid Sarmiento

Social Networking: Is it really private?

In the article of Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What?, at the very least it portrays the reality of our current way of communicating and the way we represent ourselves through the scope of social technology. Our generation relays heavily on the realm of social networking. More than a half billion people use these social network sites to post vast amounts of information about themselves every day. Although we have people who are in favor and who have embrace this emerging technology other people like parents are still, only worried each day, some feel that this technology has only strongly corrupt and destroy today’s youth while others only wait patiently until this whole phenomenon dies down. Boyd states, “Today’s teenagers are being socialised into a society complicated by shifts in the public and private.” I think we all pretty much have become familiar with this option. For example, in Facebook, we are able to choose and block from certain people viewing our posts, pictures, notes, or status. This tactic has enable us to have some power in the area of our privacy. We are no longer held back from making our information private and not sharing it with everyone and although this could favor us in many ways it could also jeopardize us in the long run. According to Boyd, he states, “What you say sticks around. This is great for asynchronous communication, but it also means that what you said at 15 is still accessible when you are 30 and have purportedly outgrown your childish ways.” The fact that information is reachable with a click of a button can sometimes harm people in job interviews. This is why careful thought must be put into everything that we shared online. Take for instance, in Facebook, even though you might have a trusted circle of friends who are viewing your material, you still have those whom you have blocked. Who is to say that 1 friend out of the “trusted” circle of friends won’t bring up that photo album in a conversation to that other friend that you have blocked and who is to say that by having your profile visible, that other people won’t copy and paste your photographs or information. Let’s face it if you are on the web, every thing you say and do will always be accessible no matter how many privacy rules they are behind to “protect” your information, one way or another someone is behind that monitor watching your every move. Or how else do you think the media gets track of celebrity private photos and information?

-Astrid Sarmiento

Privacies role in social networking.

While reading Boyd’s article titled “Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What?” I read about many truths that were relevant actualities about teens and how we communicate now a days. I do believe that privacy plays a major role in networking world of today. Sometimes you may post a picture that you only want friends to see. You can either make it private or make it so only friends can see, through Facebook you can even specify which friends can view it. You must be careful with your actions in these sites, your posts can be replicated and known to many other people with the just click of a mouse. The most common teen response when asked why people would access their profiles is as Boyd stated , “…but why would they?”. We must start to think about how we ourselves look though hundreds of profiles daily, so surely other people will tend to do the same . Thinking more about how our comments or posts will affect us in the long run, will prevent us from social embarrassment in the future .

Today’s class notes, and homework for Monday 2/28

Today I introduced the first stage of the research paper: the topic proposal. Please see Assignments for a complete description, including the rubric for grading. The research paper topic proposal is due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 21 and is worth 5% of your grade. I expect it to be word-processed in 12-point font with 1″ margins and double spaced. It must be at least 100 words long, but of course you can write more. You can submit it as hard copy in class or as an email attachment before class. I will give you feedback about it relatively quickly; it is possible that your paper topic will need further refinement.

Towards the end of class I showed a few articles that discussed bias in research. It’s Not the Answers that are Biased, it’s the Questions, published in the Washington Post on July 15, 2008, is a good example of a discussion about research bias in the mainstream media (not just among scientists). It describes how the results of research on the possible danger of the chemical BPA vary depending on how the research was funded and how the research study was designed.

We will be discussing privacy next Monday: how is the definition of privacy changing in an online environment, and how do digital media make the concept more complex? Please read Marshall’s piece on Online privacy and danah boyd’s essay Social network sites: Public, private, or what? and write one reading response blog post. The Marshall piece is from a library subscription database; refer to off-campus access instructions for help.

Slides from today are available as a pdf here.