Privacy and perspective

Educating students about protecting their privacy seems like a gargantuan task – mainly because of the speed of changes. Facebook comes to mind, and their seems to be a change in privacy settings regularly.

Matt Mckeon's interactive graph 2005-2010

Matt Mckeon’s interactive graph 2005-2010

This graph was last updated in 2010, but if you look at the usage rights – it’s clear this was getting a great deal of attention.  I wonder why he stopped updating it?  I might ask him, or you can: @mattmckeon

Perhaps, now, it’s just at the point where it’s fundamental – we MUST know about protecting our privacy.

I operate under the philosophy that absolutely nothing I do on the web is private. Could I be taking it too far? Not at all. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Google and Facebook know more about me than anyone else in the world.

What does that mean to me? Not much, really. It’s just a fact of life in 2017.

What does this mean for my students? I suppose it means the same thing – not much. BUT, they should definitely be educated on this topic. More importantly, though, I suppose it’s imperative to start with the basics. These two law schools – Fordham and Suffolk Universty –  went out and taught middle schoolers privacy basics. Here’s a summary of the curriculum being taught:

  • Privacy basics
  • How to deal with passwords and behavioral ads
  • Navigating social media and tricky situations
  • Understanding mobile, Wi-Fi and facial recognition
  • Managing a digital reputation

Sadly, the curriculum hyperlinks have been removed… Having mentioned hyperlinks, I reflect…

Clicking hyperlinks must be related to online privacy. How does Facebook and Google know what I like to click on? My goodness, every time I click on a story of interest, dozens more appear. How am I supposed to grow, if everything I see is tailored to my liking?

Without perspective in a globally connected world, what will happen? Or, perhaps, more appropriately, look what is happening?



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3 Responses to Privacy and perspective

  1. Troy White says:

    Mike, nice post.

    “Not at all. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Google and Facebook know more about me than anyone else in the world” – I both agree and empathize with this statement – so true. They are the ones we spend the most face time with and they’re the ones that pay the most attention to us.

    Also, thanks for the “What Facebook and Google are Hiding From World”; this was extremely fascinating. The virtual world is a very ambiguous and fictitious one and acknowledging how information is actually presented in the web reminds us to take the flow of information with an even larger grain of salt.

    It would seem that the Fordham links on their page to the curriculum were dead, but with a little search I was able to come up with the source. It has a ton of very useful resources. The .pdf, teacher training material , has some very pertinent topics, such as “Crafting a Good Password”, “Dealing With Social Media”.
    I am very much shoving this document to the top of my resources when creating an upcoming unit on digital citizenship.

    FYI, I did not include the following hyperlink, think it’s just WordPress picking up on your likes and dislikes.

    “Bound for China: Shakespeare, Sherlock and Charlotte Brontë”

  2. Ha. Wow. That’s funny about the hyperlink.

    Thanks for commenting, Troy.

    I struggle with passwords, personally, It is so time consuming, and annoying. This morning, though, I’m working on a password manager – “sticky password.” I hope it makes me more secure and helps me save time.

    Do you use a password manager?

  3. Jeff Utecht says:

    I used that graphic about Facebook in presentations to students to show over time how a company can decide your privacy for you. Just because something is private today, does not mean that it will be tomorrow. It’s a great graphic to show how Facebook ha…


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