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

Homework 1 - due September 7, 2005

Please email your homework in Microsoft Word or PDF format to privacy-homework AT cups DOT cs DOT cmu DOT edu and put "hw1" in the subject line.

Don't forget to properly cite all sources (including assigned readings) and include a bibliography with all homework assignments. In homework 1 you will get points for your properly formatted bibliography. In future homeworks you will lose points for improper bibliography formatting or not including a bibliography.

Reading assignment: Solove 1, 2, 3; Cranor 1; Americans and Online Privacy (Turow)

1. Write a short summary of each chapter or article in the reading assignment (2-5 sentences each - do not exceed 5 sentences!). 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. Here is an example of how to do this, taken from a previous semester's reading assignment.

Smith Introduction - Summary: Americans value personal privacy, but they also ask for and provide a lot of personal information. Thus, there is a tension between privacy and curiosity. Throughout history, people have become more interested in protecting their privacy each time new technology is deployed that intrudes on their privacy - especially when that technology is "in the hands of large and powerful organizations." The Web raises new privacy concerns because it places the ability to snoop in the hands of individuals.
Smith Introduction - Highlight: Smith portrays curiosity about other people as a uniquely American trait. There are a lot of students in this class from other countries, I wonder whether they would agree.

[30 points]

2. Make a one-page "collage" by photocopying the contents of your wallet on a single sheet of paper. You may "edit" your collage by leaving out items or by blacking out information on items you do include. Your collage will be passed around the classroom for your classmates to see and turned in for grading. This question, only, must be turned in during class rather than submitted electronically. [10 points]

3. List two privacy-related issues that have been in the news recently. Cite at least one news article where each issue is discussed. [10 points]

4. The CMU Data Privacy Lab has setup a web site where you can view public web cams. Take a look at some of these web cams and think about their implications. [15 points]

5. Review the web sites of several privacy-related advocacy groups (see, for example, the list of URLs at the end of Chapter 2 of the Cranor book). List three major issues that they are working on right now. [15 points]

6. The following are three attempts at paraphrasing a paragraph from the first chapter of your text book. For each one, decide whether or not it contains plagiarism and provide a brief explanation to justify your decision. [10 points]

A. Solove states that under the traditional view, privacy is violated by the invasive actions of particular wrongdoers who cause direct injury to victims. He calls this view the "invasion conception." However, digital dossiers often do not result in any overt privacy invasion (Solove 2004, p. 8).
B. Solove describes the traditional view in which privacy violations involve a specific privacy invader causing some specific harm to a victim as the "invasion conception." He argues that this conception is inadequate for describing the privacy invasions that may result from digital dossiers, which are compiled by many actors and may not cause a readily identifiable harm (Solove 2004, p. 8).
C. The invasion conception is the traditional view that privacy is violated by the invasive actions of particular wrongdoers who cause direct injury to victims. However the invasion conception is an inappropriate way to think about digital dossiers, which often do not result in any overt invasion (Solove 2004, p. 8).

7. Choose a bibliography format and use it to prepare a bibliography for all of the chapters and articles you cited in this homework. Please indicate what format you are using. [10 points]