15-508 / 17-801 / 19-608 / 95-818: Privacy Policy, Law, and Technology

Homework 2 - due September 9, 2004

Reading Assignment: Smith - Mistrust, Space, Curiosity

1. Write a short summary of each chapter in the reading assignment (2-5 sentences each). After each summary (in a separate paragraph) provide a "highlight" for that chapter. This can be something new you learned that you found particularly interesting, a point you would like to discuss further in class, a question the chapter did not fully answer, something you found confusing, a point you disagree with, or anything else you found noteworthy.

2. a) What is "secondary use" of data? b) Give two examples of how a secondary use principle was applied in nineteenth century America. c) Give two examples of secondary uses of data by a business or government agency today.

3. What similarities are there between nineteenth century concerns about privacy of the postal mail and telegraph and contemporary concerns about email privacy? What technical and legal solutions have been used to address these concerns in nineteenth century America and today? (For more information about some recent email privacy issues see: Privacy Subtleties of GMail, EPIC Gmail Privacy Page.)

4. The CMU Data Privacy Lab has setup a website where you can view public web cams. Take a look at some of these web cams and think about their implications. Why is a sign notifying individuals of a web cam not a completely satisfying solution to privacy protection?

5. Review the web sites of several privacy-related advocacy groups (see, for example, the list of URLs in Chapter 2 of the Cranor book). What are the major issues that they are working on right now?