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

Homework 4 - due February 5, 2004

Reading assignment: Cranor Foreword, 1, 3; web bugs paper; Bugnosis paper

1. Download a privacy-related software application (NOT P3P software) or use one you have already purchased, or use an online privacy service -- see for example, bugnosis.org, anonymizer.com, etc. Write a summary of what the software does and the things you liked and didn't like about it. What privacy concern does this software address?

2. If you could commission the creation of privacy software designed to suit your personal needs, what would it do?

3. Find three web sites that use web bugs (list URLs). What function do the web bugs appear to be performing on each of these sites?

4. Do Part 1 of the CMU Privacy Policy Mini Project.

5. Are special laws, guidelines, or self-regulatory programs needed to address online privacy concerns, or can these concerns be addressed through general privacy laws, guidelines, or programs? (Such laws, guidelines, or programs may or may not already exist.) Explain.