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

Homework 3 - due September 16, 2004

Reading Assignment: Cranor - 1, 2; Garfinkel - 2; Smith - Brandeis, Torts, The Constitution

Reminder: This and all future homeworks must include a bibliography!

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. Compare the US FTC's five privacy principles to the fair information practice principles in the OECD Guidelines. What's missing from the FTC principles? Are these omissions important? (You may wish to read parts of the FTC report.)

3. Pick one privacy-related court case discussed by Smith that had an outcome that you disagree with. Briefly describe the case and explain the court's ruling. Explain what aspect of privacy was at stake in this case. Explain why you disagree with the ruling. If the case were brought today, would you expect a different outcome? Why or why not?

4. Research a self-regulatory privacy program or privacy law and write up a short summary description. Explain which of the fair information practice principles it addresses. For self-regulatory programs include who runs it, how the program works, and the kinds of praise and criticism it has been getting. For laws include what the laws require, the agency responsible for enforcing them, and any information you can find on the types of enforcement actions that have been taken and evaluation of the law's effectiveness. Your research should include both reviewing the program's web site and searching for relevant news articles, endorsements, criticism, etc. Please include the relevant citations in your write-up and add the sources to your bibliography. Please come to class prepared to discuss your findings. You will be assigned a program or law to research in class from one of the following (or one that you suggest):

Self-regulatory programs