Through the Education Lens

"The Facebook Privacy War: What Is Personal Data?"

CJ Westerberg, May 10, 2010 9:14 AM

Two Minute Video Below "Data 101"
 What Is Data?  What Is Private?

By C.J. Westerberg

On the heels of The Daily Riff''s recent posts, "Get Off Facebook: Middle School Principal Takes On Cyberbullying" and "Is The New Facebook A Deal With The Devil?", you would think we might have a problem with Facebook.  Well, we do. 

Technology has MUCH to offer our society.  However, as with everything (especially these days), you have to keep a watchful eye on those companies and or individuals that may take advantage of a situation.   

Regarding technology and social network sites in particular, when you have privacy policies  that are changed mid-stream and where the customer has to actively monitor (!) the site's privacy settings, this is the time to let these companies know "we, the customer, won't buy into" this "kind of misrepresentation".  Especially when you have a behemoth like Facebook operating so cavalierly, it makes one think of Goldman Sachs with their arrogance and disregard for the customer.  Recently adding to Facebook's woes related to customers' outcry against its privacy changes, the company just encountered yet another too-big, too-fast incident with a tech glitch that jeopardized their standing with customers even further: private messaging that went public.

Check out the video below from Loren Feldman's 1938 Media running about 2 minutes. Hat tip for this from Wired magazine's GeekDad, "The Facebook Privacy War: What Is Personal Data?" with key excerpts:

"There is a current campaign on the internet for users to not log into Facebook for a whole day on June 6th, 2010. This comes in response to the recent changes made by Facebook to their privacy settings, especially to the one leaving the default "on" instead of "off." Basically it became quite apparent that Facebook is in fact, a business, and that your so-called "personal" data was for sale. To economists and investors, this was no surprise at all. They all expected Facebook to make a genuine attempt to make money at some point, and what better way than demographic targeted advertising?

When it came to the users though, the backlash to the recent changes and integration of Facebook across multiple sharing networks has been less than mixed. It's been negative. There have been constant tweets and articles written about Facebook's complete disregard for our "personal" data.. . ."

The good news in all this?  For one, the overall awareness and concern over privacy issues is a good thing. The Federal Trade Commission will be involved as collective pressure increases, from the general public to our government officials.  This can be both good and bad on certain levels depending how you feel about regulation, but in the case of Facebook, changing policy mid-stream unbeknown to many customers, should be treated similar to cases of "false advertising".   We just wonder what would have happened if the media didn't broadcast this change in events over at the Facebook ranch  . . . 

Businesses will have to operate understanding the customers will not be passive with regard to this issue, especially if Facebook starts losing customers or even their customer involvement (many are still remaining on Facebook but are dropping out from messaging, etc.).  Ultimately, as everyone understands the full ramifications, they hopefully will begin to be more  discriminating as to which services and information they choose to share.

From a parents point-of-view, we would suggest being more pro-active about social networks in particular.  Does an 11 year old REALLY need to be on Facebook?  Why?  Because his/her friends are?

From an education point-of-view, there will be more controversy surrounding the "data" that teachers will be accumulating about students as the increase in accountability,  school and student tracking grows.  There will be growing privacy issues and concerns.  As a parent, we would suggest keeping an eye on these developments, as we report them here at The Daily Riff.

Recently, a court ruled that all emails schools write about a student must be made available to the parents as it will be on the student record.  We agree with this wholeheartedly.  If you can't say it to someone's face, then don't say it at all.  Isn't that how it goes?


P.S.  The New York Times Magazine this weekend has a special report "The Data Driven Life"
which is a good read related to this issue. 

blog comments powered by Disqus


Finland. Finnishflag.BobCompton.jpg

The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System

03.17.2014 | New update December 2, 2013 which includes Yong Zhao link and comments PLUS CNN videos Watch Now | Comments


Is Learning a Sport?

02.14.2014 | Students should not go to school to win - students should go to school to learn. Watch Now | Comments

It's Personal: How a Parent Perspective Changes Everything

12.09.2013 | "For every problem that technology solves, it sort of creates a new one." Watch Now | Comments

American Teacher: responding to students, environments and conditions

12.05.2013 | "There are very few schools that purposefully try to create lines and connections between different fields. The way most high schools are set up, you're in history class, and then the bell rings; then you go to science class, and then the bell rings." Watch Now | Comments

MIT Invention: Touch Through Your Screen

11.19.2013 | Future inForm?"inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the... Watch Now | Comments

Qualities of Leadership: Entrepreneurs vs. Turn-around CEOs

11.15.2013 | Guess who needs more of the right stuff? Video via Biz Insider Watch Now | Comments


Parents: Are we sabotaging our own kids' math "ability"?

11.12.2013 | Many parents in the United States assume that (math ability) is just some kind of aptitude - some kids have it, some kids don't . . . The result is most of our kids (in the U.S.) don't do really well in Math . . ." Watch Now | Comments


Stigliz on Education

11.11.2013 | VIDEO: "We have an education system that is very dependent on where you live, where you live is very dependent on what you can afford . . . " Watch Now | Comments


A Response to: Is Your Child a "Warrior" or "Worrier"?

11.07.2013 | Why Some Kids Handle Test Pressure and Others . . . Not. Watch Now | Comments

Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

11.04.2013 | Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer Watch Now | Comments

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

11.03.2013 | Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose Watch Now | Comments

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

10.31.2013 | "Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . " Watch Now | Comments

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

10.31.2013 | Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ... Watch Now | Comments


Does your school have a beehive?

10.27.2013 | "If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video Watch Now | Comments

Sparks of Genius. Thirteen Thinking Tools.jpg

How the Arts Prepare for a Life's Work in any Discipline

10.23.2013 | The Arts in STEM learning: "I actually explained my whole theory of immunology to an entire art class at a college JUST through visuals and they GOT it. I have many more problems trying to explain it to my students through words in my immunology classes." -Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein Watch Now | Comments


CEO: Drawing Can Help One Think and Reflect

10.22.2013 | Great video from pandodaily, my new favorite tech site, about how the CEO of Deviant Art uses his artistic expression and journaling to help him think, reflect, organize or clear his head to work better. Watch Now | Comments

millennial. cell-phone.jpg

I Forgot My Phone: Viral Video

10.21.2013 | If you missed this one, do check it out below.26 million views and counting . . . two minute run-time.... Watch Now | Comments


ADHD: One in 5 high school boys diagnosed

10.18.2013 | Mental Steroids to the Rescue - - - - The Real Deal, "Pseudo-ADHD" and the Money Trail Watch Now | Comments

How I Teach Math and Dance at the Same Time

10.17.2013 | In this video below, dance moves are equated with having "pattern attributes". This connection is very reminiscent of what mathematician Paul Lockhart was referring to in "A Mathematician's Lament" about math being about pattern-making . . . and art.Isn't also... Watch Now | Comments


Tom Friedman: Think Like an Immigrant

10.14.2013 | Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Work Watch Now | Comments