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

Homework 4 - due September 23, 2004

Reading Assignment: Garfinkel - 8; Culnan; Gellman; Varian 1996; Moores; Beyond Concern; Americans and Online Privacy; Grain of Salt

1. Write a short summary of each chapter and article 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. Pick a particular industry or type of web site and examine the privacy policies for three different companies from that industry. For each policy, provide the URL and list major strengths and weaknesses related to both substance and presentation (if the policy ignores one or more FIPs be sure to mention that in your list of weaknesses).

3. Many people don't like having their personal information sold for marketing purposes. Some suggest that there should be new laws banning the sale of personal information for marketing unless an individual has granted their consent. Others suggest that individuals should be compensated when their information is sold. Which of these approaches (or another approach) would you advocate pursuing. Provide a brief rationale for your choice, citing arguments made in the assigned readings.

4. Write a short literature review on a topic relevant to this class. This may be a topic you are considering for your project or one of the topics we have discussed in class. For example, an evaluation of privacy seals would be an acceptable topic. You should include at least five sources, including at least one conference or journal paper and at least one news article. You will be graded on your ability to find and cite appropriate sources, and write a coherent overview of each source that explains why each is relevant and any controversy or unanswered questions raised. This need not be a comprehensive literature review on the topic.