Friday, May 29, 2015

Privacy (3) Online Surveillance

Isn't it the case in the US that unless the police have probable cause, they cannot simply scope out information from just any particular or anonymous citizen?  Of course it is their charge to pinpoint wrongdoers in their jurisdiction, but I believe they must do so without improper breach of citizens' privacy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Privacy (2) Facebook's Mood Experiment

The challenge for any researcher investigating human behavior is that letting people know they're being investigated can prompt them to alter their behavior.  Information and consent can therefore confound research.  Ah but that's the very charge of researchers: that is, provide information and seek consent, as they must, and still protect the integrity of their methodology.  They need to draw on their ingenuity to strike this crucial balance.  So the answer to this young lady's question?  No, Facebook shirked its ethical, perhaps legal responsibility to its members.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Privacy (1) A Party Gone Wrong

A Party Gone Wrong can certainly be distressing for a teen and her family, but we can imagine far worse actions by someone masquerading as anyone of us on social media.  It is one thing to set policy or law against such behavior, but another thing to investigate and enforce it.  Regardless, though, I believe that sites ought to have some fair and reasonable responsibility to prevent masquerading and to intervene accordingly.  Otherwise we'd have cause to question the integrity and intent of a site and its members.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reflections on Freedom Online

What these men and women speak to are a prompt for reflection and conversation.  Shame, though, that The British Library didn't engage a wider diversity of nationality and age for these interviews.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Freedom (5) Trolling as Freedom of Expression

Yikes!  It's troublesome to think that many people believe trolling to be a perfectly fine thing to do to others.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Freedom (4) Web Censorship in Schools

I suppose this is not just a clash between liberal and conservative schools of thought.  Values matter to people, and there is a melange of them, which defies dichotomies.  Sometimes these values collide in very personal, complicated ways.  Those in authority or those with influence may determine which ones are left standing, at the end of the day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Freedom (3) The Right to be Forgotten

I find this question to be a terribly complex one.  On the one hand, if one has paid his or her dues, and by law a past transgression is no longer a matter of consideration, for example, for getting a job, buying a house, or obtaining a credit card, then why should it remain available?  On the other hand, I personally appreciate having any old information available on any person or topic of interest to me.  This is how I learn about the background of actors, for example, and how I probe more deeply into their filmography.  So the question comes down (a) morally to the freedom to move on with a clean slate and (b) pragmatically to the means with which to determine how ought to be, and ought not be, removed.