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

Homework 3 - due September 21, 2005

Reading Assignment:
- Solove 5
- How Privacy Notices Promote Informed Consumer Choice (Culnan)
- Privacy: Finding a Balanced Approach to Consumer Options (Gellman)
- Economic Aspects of Personal Privacy (Varian)
- With a Grain of Salt (Harper and Singleton)
- [Optional: Beyond Concern (Cranor, Reagle, and Ackerman)]
- [Optional: Do privacy seals in e-commerce really work? (Moores and Dhillon)]

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

1. Write a short summary of each chapter or 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. [30 points]

2. Pick a particular industry or type of web site and use Privacy Finder to find three different companies from that industry, at least one of which has a P3P policy and at least of of which does not have a P3P policy. Examine the privacy policies for these sites. 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). [40 points]

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. [15 points]

4. Find a reference to privacy in art, literature, advertising, or pop-culture (tv, movie, cartoon, etc.). Explain the reference and what it says about privacy. If possible, provide a URL or a copy of the privacy reference that you can share with the class. [15 points]