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

Homework 4 - due September 28, 2005

Reading Assignment:
- Cranor 3
- Detecting web bugs with Bugnosis (Alsaid and Martin)
- FTC and Spam (Allman)
- CRS Internet Privacy Report
- Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
- [Optional: Web bugs in contemporary use (Martin, Wu, Alsaid)]
- [Optional: Suing spammers for fun and profit (Egelman)]
- [Optional: Collateral Damage in the Fight Against Spam (Cohn and Newitz)]
- [Optional: Stopping Spyware at the Gate (Good et al) ]

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. [20 points]

2. Download a privacy-related software application (NOT P3P software) or use one you have already purchased, or use an online privacy service. [35 points]

3. Find a web page (not one mentioned in the reading) that uses web bugs (list URL). What function do the web bugs appear to be performing on this site? That is, why has the site planted these bugs? [10 points]

4. Write a short literature review on a topic related to online privacy (for example, spam, spyware, phishing, or web bugs). 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. [35 points]