Tagged with " privacy"
Please join us for this CIPR Research Lunch on Sept 17, 2014, featuring Dr. Christopher Terry (Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies). A light lunch will be provided.
Porn, Privacy, Copyright and Net Neutrality: Standing at the Digital Crossroads of Constitutive Choice
Dr. Christopher Terry
Lecturer, Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
12:30 – 2:00pm
2025 E Newport Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211
In The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications, sociologist Paul Starr developed a theory of “constitutive choice” to explain how the U.S. systems of mass communication had evolved differently from those of other countries. Starr explains that the design a country’s communication system is reflective of a society’s value system related to free speech, access to information, privacy and copyright. Just as with earlier systems of mass communication, as digital technology becomes a fundamental part of our media environment, we see three key issues arise-Privacy, Copyright and Net Neutrality. In terms of a media system, this is part and parcel of the constitutive choices we face in terms of the integration of the next generation of mass communication.\
Our digital media environment was shaped by the constitutive choices made in relationship to earlier communication systems but also by the changing of our traditional value system away from a citizen orientated perspective to one based in economics. Although the basic design of digital communications are reflective of the constitutive choices made for systems of communication as far back as the U.S. Postal System, the change in values away from citizen access has had a profound effect on how the system operates, the values it serves and the ways information is distributed.
The design of a system is reflective of its values, and with these changes, the dynamics, operation and design of our communication system have shifted substantially. Although policy researchers and other academics frequently discuss these changes as separate issues, the reality of modern issues of privacy and the ethics of mass data collection can be increasingly tied to the issues of surrounding digital copyright, access to information and net neutrality.
This project proposes that at the center of all of these issues, standing at the ethical crossroads between the choices we make in relationship to access to information, copyright and privacy in the digital age, is a significant series of intellectual property cases involving the illegal downloading of pornography. More than any other example, the nature of these cases illustrates the intersection between these essential values in the digital age. In terms of privacy, violators have been identified using an invasive tracking mechanism. In terms of net neutrality, internet service providers are using these cases as justification for throttling or content blocking. In terms of copyright, the constitutional premise of copyright to stimulate and enhance has been replaced by a desire to use existing copyright law as a way to coerce financial settlements by threatening to expose serial downloaders. These collective changes are setting a dangerous precedent that undermines our system of communication and the role it plays in a democratic society. Pornography has replaced political speech as non-governmental entities control our access to information.
This paper combines historical, legal and policy research to trace the significant changes in terms of ethics, law, content distribution, our value system and constitutive choice to illustrate that the time to rethink and reevaluate our priorities is now.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of Facebook, and to help commemorate this milestone CIPR Director Michael Zimmer wrote an essay for The Washington Post that postulates an early framework of Mark Zuckerberg’s theory of privacy, based on a preliminary analysis of the data contained in The Zuckerberg Filesarchive.
Here are the three principles Zimmer discusses:
Information wants to be sharedUpdating the 1960s techno-activist slogan “information wants to be free,” Zuckerberg clearly believes that “information wants to be shared,” and that the world will be a better place if we start sharing more information about ourselves.
While comments from Zuckerberg in 2004 and 2005 point to a desire to simply position Facebook as a “really cool college directory,” as the social network grew, so did his vision. In a 2006 blog post apologizing for the controversial rollout of the News Feed feature, Zuckerberg described his motivation this way: “When I made Facebook two years ago my goal was to help people understand what was going on in their world a little better.” A focus on “helping people become more open, sharing more information” started to emerge in Zuckerberg’s rhetoric by 2008. And by 2010, in an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Zuckerberg argued that sharing more information — your photos, your opinions, your birthday, for example — would make the world a better place: “If people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that’s more open and connected is a better world.”
Privacy must be overcome
In his initial public comments about what was then thefacebook, in a Feb. 9, 2004, article in the Harvard Crimson, when Facebook was only five days old, Zuckerberg bragged about the site’s “pretty intensive privacy options.” He also acknowledged that he hoped the privacy options would help to restore his tarnished reputation following student outrage over his earlier Web site, that hot-or-not-inspired Facemash — uproar that was well-depicted in “The Social Network.”
From the start, Zuckerberg knew that privacy would be a significant factor in Facebook’s success. He regularly mentions the site’s “extensive privacy settings” in blog posts and interviews during the first few years of operation. But in many ways, Zuckerberg appears to view privacy as a barrier to the openness that his first principle demands.
This is most evident in a 2008 interview at the Web 2.0 Summit, when he noted, “four years ago, when Facebook was getting started, most people didn’t want to put up any information about themselves on the Internet. . . . So, we got people through this really big hurdle of wanting to put up their full name, or real picture, mobile phone number.” Later in this interview, Zuckerberg predicted that the amount of information people will share online will double each year, and the best strategy for Facebook is to be “pushing that forward.”
Control is the new privacy
When Zuckerberg does talk seriously about privacy, he almost always cites control. Zuckerberg’s apology for the launch of News Feed notes that his original vision for Facebook included the fact that users must “have control over whom they shared [their] information with.” His response to backlash over a change in the site’s terms of service in 2009 was aptly titled, “On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information.” That statement doesn’t mention the word “privacy,” but instead declares, “Our philosophy that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant.” In an interview with Time magazine in 2010 Zuckerberg declares: “What people want isn’t complete privacy. It isn’t that they want secrecy. It’s that they want control over what they share and what they don’t.”
You can read the full essay here.
CIPR Director, Michael Zimmer, has launched a new project called “The Zuckerberg Files“, a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It includes transcripts and bibliographic data of all publicly-available content representing the voice and words of Zuckerberg, including blog posts, letters to shareholders, media interviews, public appearances and product presentations, and quotes in other sources.
The Zuckerberg Files is hosted on the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Digital Commons, and consists of two digital collections. The “Transcripts” collection include full-text transcriptions of all the content in the digital archive of Zuckerberg’s public statements. The “Videos” collection represents a subset of the collection with archived copies available video files documenting certain Zuckerberg appearances.
Full details are at the project’s website.
CIPR Director, Michael Zimmer, has been invited to join a gathering of national library, education, technology, legal and policy experts for a national symposium hosted by the American Library Association and Google considering the impact of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on access to electronic information July 29 and 30. Librarians & researchers nationwide can join the virtual conversation with two Google Hangouts on July 30.
The first Hangout will start at 11 a.m. EDT and focus on an “Introduction and Overview of CIPA 10 Years Later.” The second one will share “Symposium Themes and Conclusions” starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Participants will join a wide range of experts as they share insights looking at legal, ethical, and political implications of how the CIPA requirements have been implemented in the past 10 years. Did CIPA meet its intended goals, and have there been unintended consequences?
“Revisiting the Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later” is part of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and Office for Intellectual Freedom’s (OIF) larger project on CIPA and access to information, made possible through support of Google, Inc. A white paper will be released this fall.
Here’s how to join the conversation:
- You can watch the live stream directly on YouTube on the ALA Washington Office channel. ALA will tweet the URL using #CIPA_ALA13 at 10:45am EST, right before the Hangout goes live.
- You can also tweet @oitp using our hash tag #CIPA_ALA13. We’ll be watching the Twitter feed and passing these comments to the speakers, as well.
Participants are encouraged to actively share their experiences, reflections and questions via tweets and online comment boards. ALA will use the back-channel conversation to inform our ongoing work on libraries and the impacts of filtering on access to information.
The Hangouts also will be archived on the ALA Washington Office YouTube channel after the event.
Join the Center for Information Policy Research, the Social Studies of Information Research Group, and the UWM Libraries for a special lecture by Dr. Kelly Gates (Communication, UC-San Diego) in celebration of Choose Privacy Week, an annual initiative of the American Library Association that invites the public into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.
THE COMPUTATIONAL WORK OF POLICING: Surveillance Video & the Forensic Sensibility
Dr. Kelly Gates
Department of Communication
Science Studies Program
University of California, San Diego
As a result of the widespread diffusion of CCTV security systems, recorded surveillance video has become a prolific source of evidence in criminal investigations. In this talk, Kelly Gates examines the evidentiary uses of recorded surveillance video, arguing that the status of video as evidence is the result of an intentional process of production, one that involves repurposing technologies and techniques borrowed from the domain of creative media production. She examines the effort to establish the scientific and legal credibility of forensic video analysis, showing how the scientific and legal status of forensic video analysis depends fundamentally on the professionalization of its practitioners.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
2:00 – 4:00pm
4th Floor Conference Center
2311 E Hartford Ave Milwaukee, WI 53211
Please Register online: http://sois.uwm.edu/ZZX
CIPR Director Michael Zimmer is contributing to an American Library Association (ALA) webinar on generating issues and ideas for programming during the upcoming Choose Privacy Week.
The free, hour-long online webinar will take place on from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 9 and will feature four speakers discussing ideas and tools for privacy-related programming and outreach, with an emphasis on sample programs and resources that have proved successful in school, academic and public library environments:
Michael Zimmer, PhD, will discuss how to use short documentaries on privacy and surveillance to increase awareness among patrons and spark conversations on controversial technologies and practices.
Zimmer is an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies and director of the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Carolyn Caywood will discuss how librarians can raise awareness of developments that impact privacy in their community by offering civic engagement programs about privacy.
Caywood worked as a youth services librarian and branch manager for Virginia Beach, Va. before retiring in 2010. She is currently a fellow of the Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement and serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library Association’s Center for Civic Life.
Marc Gartler will discuss how Madison Public Library (Wis.) planned and implemented a successful week-long observance for Choose Privacy Week that emphasized preventing identity theft and making informed privacy choices.
Gartler joined the management team at Madison Public Library in 2010 following four years as library director at Harrington College of Design. He previously worked on digital library projects at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dr. Deborah Peel will discuss one of privacy’s “hot topics” – patient privacy rights. She will discuss the fight to keep health information private and provide resources for planning programs about protecting our health information both inside and outside of the health care system.
Peel leads Patient Privacy Rights and is the voice of the bipartisan Coalition for Patient Privacy, speaking for 10.3 million Americans who expect to control their sensitive health data in electronic systems.
Register for this free webinar via this link to the registration page. The webinar will be recorded and available in the archives. For questions about registration or using the webinar platform, contact Angela Maycock email@example.com.
Choose Privacy Week 2013 takes place May 1-7 and asks the critical question, “Who’s Tracking You?” When someone is always watching your every move both online and off, you should have the right to know who’s collecting your information and choose how your private data is used.
In celebration of Choose Privacy Week, the American Library Association‘s Office for Intellectual Freedomhas released preliminary findings from a new survey on “Librarian Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Informational Privacy” that Michael Zimmer, Director of the Center for Information Policy Research, conduced on their behalf with generous support from the Open Society Foundation. The press release with preliminary results is copied below; the full results will be published later this year.
New survey confirms librarians’ commitment to protecting privacy rights
For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/01/2012 – 15:55
Contact: Jennifer Petersen
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
CHICAGO – In conjunction with Choose Privacy Week, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released preliminary findings from a new survey measuring librarians’ views on privacy rights and protecting library users’ privacy.
The survey, which builds on an earlier 2008 survey assessing librarians’ attitudes about privacy, provides important data that will help ALA evaluate the state of privacy in the United States and libraries’ role in protecting library users’ privacy. The data will help guide ongoing planning for Choose Privacy Week and similar initiatives aimed at engaging librarians in public education and advocacy to advance privacy rights.
Some of the highlights from the 2012 survey include:
- Librarians remain concerned about privacy and individuals’ desire to control access and use of personal information. Ninety-five percent agree or strongly agree that individuals should be able to control who sees their personal information, and more than 95 percent of respondents feel government agencies and businesses shouldn’t share personal information with third parties without authorization and should only be used for a specific purpose.
- Librarians affirmed their commitment to the profession’s long-standing ethic of protecting library users’ privacy. Nearly 100 percent of respondents agreed that “Libraries should never share personal information, circulation records or Internet use records with third parties unless it has been authorized by the individual or by a court of law,” and 76 percent feel libraries are doing all they can to prevent unauthorized access to individual’s personal information and circulation records. Overall, nearly 80 percent feel libraries should play a role in educating the general public about privacy issues.
- When compared to the 2008 survey, the results showed that the responses given by the 2012 respondents generally mirrored those of the 2008 respondents, with data showing a slight decline in the level of concern over privacy. For example, in both surveys, the vast majority (95 percent in 2008, 90 percent in 2012) of respondents expressed concern that “companies are collecting too much personal information about me and other individuals.” However those who “strongly” agreed dropped from 70 percent in 2008 to only 54 percent in 2012.
The 2012 survey also revealed some limitations in libraries’ handling of privacy issues. While nearly 80 percent of the responding librarians said libraries should play a role in educating the general public about privacy, only 13 percent said their library had hosted a privacy information session, lecture, seminar or other event addressing privacy and surveillance. Similarly, while 100 percent agree that libraries should not release library records without a court order, only 51 percent indicate that their libraries offer training on handling requests for user records and only 57 percent indicate that their libraries effectively communicate the library’s privacy policies to their patrons.
The 2012 study is funded by a generous grant from the Open Society Foundations and is managed by Dr. Michael Zimmer, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, and co-director of its Center for Information Policy Research.
The survey is part of ALA’s Choose Privacy Week and “Privacy for All” initiative, which conducted with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations. Its website, www.privacyrevolution.org, provides access to privacy-related news, information and programming resources.
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom established Choose Privacy Week in 2010 to help libraries work with their communities in navigating these complicated but vital issues. It is a national public awareness campaign that aims to educate the public about their privacy rights and to deepen public awareness about the serious issue of government surveillance. The theme for Choose Privacy Week 2012 is “Freedom from Surveillance.”
For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit www.privacyrevolution.org or contact Jennifer Petersen, ALA PR coordinator at (312) 280-5043, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Center for Information Policy Research and the UWM Libraries for a special screening of the short documentary film “Big Brother, Big Business: The Data-Mining and Surveillance Industries” in celebration of Choose Privacy Week, an annual initiative of the American Library Association that invites the public into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.
The event is free and open to the public:
Following the film, a panel of privacy advocates will discuss its implications, including:
- Emilio De Torre, Youth and Program Director, ACLU of Wisconsin
- Stacy Harbaugh, Communications Director, ACLU of Wisconsin
- Angela Maycock, Assistant Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association
- Michael Zimmer, Assistant Professor and Co-Director, Center for Information Policy Research, School of Information Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Michael Zimmer, a privacy scholar at the U. of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Center for Information Policy Research, says the methods of the Harvard project “should have triggered an ethical concern.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article featuring CIPR Co-Director Michael Zimmer’s research critiquing the privacy protections and research methods related to the “Taste, Ties, and Time” (T3) Facebook research study conducted by a set of Harvard sociologists.
The article, “Harvard Researchers Accused of Breaching Students’ Privacy”, discusses a variety of privacy and research ethics concerns raised by Zimmer, and also features insights by former CIPR director Elizabeth Buchanan.
Read the full article here, and additional commentary by Zimmer on his blog.
CIPR Associate Michael Zimmer is co-author on an op-ed in The Huffington Post, along with Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director of information privacy programs at the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law & Technology.
The piece, “How to Win Friends and Manipulate People,” critiques the “Machiavellian public relations strategy” of information-intensive companies, such as Facebook, in which “companies introduce ‘features’ that invariably result in more information being shared with advertisers, wait for a negative reaction, and then announce minimal changes without affecting the new feature. They explain away the fuss with public relations spin: ‘we are listening to our users,’ ‘we didn’t get it right this time,’ ‘we look forward to your feedback,’ etc.”
Check out the full piece here. You can also read more about privacy issues and Facebook at Michael Zimmer’s blog.