Privacy & Ethics in Social Media


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This lecture gives an overview of the privacy and ethical concerns related to social media.

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Privacy & Ethics in Social Media

  1. 1. Privacy &EthicsFebruary 5, 2013
  2. 2. Today’s Privacy in Social Media Everything you do online is publicby default, private through effort There’s no such thing as “delete”anymore – everything lives onlineforever We now have to think about theconsequences of our actions in awhole new way
  3. 3. Did You Know? The primary business model for mostsuccessful online corporations is the masscollection and monetization of yourpersonal data? All of the major social networks’ defaultsettings are usually public? 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and HR peopleare required to do online research aboutcandidates and employees? 70 percent say they’ve rejected candidatesbecause of what they found online
  4. 4. Did You Know? The Library of Congress is acquiring - andpermanently storing - the entire archive ofpublic Twitter posts since 2006 Governments all over the world arecurrently considering legislation protectingpeople’s online privacy The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) isdiscussing providing Web surfers with a“Do Not Track” option
  5. 5. Did You Know?By engaging in simple acts such as IMingand Facebooking, online companies canfind out: Who you are What city you live in Who your friends are What you’re doing on Sunday Your psychological profile Your sexual orientation
  6. 6. Privacy Examples A 16 year-old girl in Englandwas fired from her office jobfor complaining on Facebook,“I’m so totally bored!” A 66 year-old Canadianpsychotherapist was deniedpermanent entry to the U.S.after an Internet search foundhis 30-year old philosophyjournal article on L.S.D.experiments
  7. 7. Privacy Examples A Google employee wasfired for illegally accessingdata in several teenagers’accounts A weak password-resetsecurity question allowedsomeone to hack a Twitteremployee’s email accountand use it to access aGoogle Docs account thatcontained sensitivecorporate information
  8. 8. Privacy-Related Sites ReputationDefender – helps youclean up your unfairly-tarnishedonline reputation Spokeo – scrubs the Web to publishdata about you such as yourincome, political views and address – a reputation“marketplace” where people canwrite anonymous reviews aboutanyone – rating people as goodemployees, bosses or co-workers
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  10. 10. Privacy’s Impact“Social technologies are forcing us tomerge identities that used to be separate– we can no longer have segmentedselves like a “home” or “family” self, a“friend” self, a “work” self.”- Samuel Gosling, U. of Texas
  11. 11. Privacy’s Impact“In the future, Google will know so much about itsusers that the search engine will be able to help themplan their lives. Using profiles of it customers andtracking their locations through their smart phones, itwill be able to provide live updates on theirsurroundings and inform them of tasks they need todo…Google would know roughly who you are,roughly what you care about, roughly who yourfriends are - it could remind users what groceries theyneeded to buy when passing a shop.”- Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, August 2010
  12. 12. Privacy’s Impact“The fact that the Internet never seems to forgetis threatening, at an almost existential level, ourability to control our identities; to preserve theoption of reinventing ourselves and startinganew.”- New York Times, “The Web Means the Endof Forgetting,” July 2010
  13. 13. Ethical Considerations“Gossip is no longer the resource of the idle and ofthe vicious but has become a trade.”– Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren (article onprivacy written in 1890 in response to theKodak camera and tabloid press)
  14. 14. Ethical Considerations Now that everything youdo can be made publiconline, how will youbehave? How will you treat others? Is the “Golden Rule”enough? What are the new rules ofengagement?
  15. 15. Ethical Considerations“Today we have quick fire and semi or completelyanonymous attacks on people, brands, businessesand just about everything else. That picture of youmaking out with two guys in college up onFacebook. Or perhaps doing a bong hit afterwinning a few Olympic gold medals. The randomslam against your restaurant anonymously left bythe owner of the competitor around the corner.The Twitter flame about how bad a driver you are,complete with a link to a picture of your licenseplate.”- Michael Arrington, TechCrunch (March 2010)
  16. 16. Parting Thoughts“We need to learn new forms of empathy, newways of defining ourselves without reference towhat others say about us and new ways offorgiving one another for the digital trails that willfollow us forever.”-New York Times, “The Web Means the End ofForgetting,” July 2010