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What do we mean by privacy?
to be let
Harvard Law Review
Dec. 15, 1890, on
"The Right to Privacy."
USA PATRIOT Act
• Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing
Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct
Terrorism Act of 2001.
Title I: Enhancing domestic security against terrorism
Title II: Surveillance procedures
Title III: Anti-money-laundering to prevent terrorism
Title IV: Border security
Title V: Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism
Title VI: Victims and families of victims of terrorism
Title VII: Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure
– Title VIII: Terrorism criminal law
– Title IX: Improved Intelligence
– Title X: Miscellaneous
USA PATRIOT Act
• Criticisms Include:
– authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants;
– the permission given law enforcement officers to search a home or
business without the owner’s or the occupant’s consent or
– the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail,
and financial records without a court order; and
– the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business
records, including library and financial records
• On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets
Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the
USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the
"library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone
wolves"—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to
• “In 2012 it made less and less sense to talk
about “the Internet,” “the PC business,”
“telephones,” “Silicon Valley,” or “the media,”
and much more sense to just study Google,
Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.
These big five American vertically organized
silos are re-making the world in their image.”
-- Bruce Sterling
WASHINGTON - February 1,
2010 -- The U.S. Education
Department has fired the top
federal official charged with
protecting student privacy, in
what the dismissed official
says was a conflict with the
agency's political leaders over
their zeal to encourage the
collection of data about
Risky cloud computing
• Unsuitable Privacy Policies: "Cloud providers may deliberately
or inadvertently force schools to accept policies or terms of
service that authorize user profiling and online behavioral
• Poor Consent Policies: "Some cloud privacy policies...stipulate
that individual data subjects (students) are also bound by
these policies, even when these subjects have not had the
opportunity to grant or withhold their consent."
• Commercial Data Mining: "It may be difficult for the cloud
provider to turn off [ad-supported user profiling features and
tracking algorithms] even when ads are not being served."
• Shady Contracts: "Some cloud providers leave the door open
to future imposition of online advertising as a condition for
allowing schools to continue receiving cloud services for free."
All it takes is one person
monitoring of the
behavior, activities, or
information, usually of
people for the
Lyon, David. 2007. Surveillance Studies:
An Overview. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Privacy concerns are growing
• The study reported that privacy concerns among Americans
are on the rise, with 50 per cent of internet users saying they
are worried about the information available about them
online, up from 33 per cent in 2009.
• Meanwhile, 86 per cent of people surveyed have tried at least
one technique to hide their activity online or avoid being
tracked, such as clearing cookies or their browser history or
• While trying to avoid snooping - at least in some
circumstances - is now commonplace, people cite varying
reasons for doing so. About one-third said they had tried to
conceal their activity from hackers or criminals, while 28 per
cent have tried to block advertisers. Others said they wanted
to keep information private from family members or spouses,
employers or the government.