Journalist Adam Tanner to Visit Class on October 1, 2014

Adam Tanner

Adam Tanner, a former Reuters news bureau chief in Belgrade and currently a Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard, will be visiting our class on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.  Adam blogs on personal data issues for Forbes at  He has written a new book that was just published about how the Las Vegas casino industry has used data mining it its marketing and customer service activities.  Two reviews of his book may be found at the

Wall Street Journal, (review 9/8 “Mr. Tanner’s engaging book is realistic.”) and the  Huffington Post,(review by Don McNay 9/9 “[A] masterpiece…Tanner’s book is one of the best business books written this year; in fact, it is one of the best business books in this century. It reminds me of Joe Nocera’s first book, A Piece of the Action, in that it combines detailed knowledge of his subject matter with an excellent writing style, countless personal interviews and observations of events.”).

Mr. Tanner also will be giving a talk at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at a  Hinckley Forum jointly sponsored by the HIP and the University’s MUSE project.

Surveillance, Does it work?

Since the horrific terrorist attack on 9/11 airports have increased their security claiming that they are keeping us safe. Starting as a simple mandatory search, Americans would say that is was all right if it was for them to be protected. As time went on new technology was brought to airports such as an electronic strip search using full body scanner, which could see through clothing. Even pat-downs were getting pretty personal. Now, Americans question, “Is this surveillance really working?”, “Is this really protecting us?”, and “Is this really necessary?”.

These many new technologies that are used at airports that are to “protect” us and “protect” our belongings do indeed work. But it has become clear that prejudices and biases have become increasingly involved. There are even no-fly lists. There was a man who had to change his name because he was fed up with consistently missing his flights every time he had to travel because he was being “randomly” searched. Some of the technologies are set up to automatically and “randomly” search people. It is known that a black woman is more likely to be strip-searched than any other person at the airport.

The many technologies are endless. There is an iris scanner that can detect the color of one’s eyes. It can easily detect the difference between blue eyes and hazel eyes. It does have some issues from the elderly who may had cataracts and for people who are in wheelchairs and they will without a doubt be subject to search because this technology doesn’t work for them. There are also motion detectors, thermal sensors, and video cameras to help surveillance.

Security cameras, the number on most thought of surveillance, even have evolved to give better pictures and more clear evidence. With better cameras to detect more issues, wouldn’t the airport not necessarily need these other technologies? So that they “could do more with less?”

Today airports actually want to do “more with more”. With many different stakeholders these security and surveillance systems are being transformed with more than just basic surveillance in mind. While these new technologies are increasing protection for us, it is also increasing instinctive overprotection that could be helpful in the future or most likely be more harmful to the idea of surveillance and security.

An example from our readings in the book, Supervision: an Introductory to the Surveillance Society, states that the security have had instances where they would not be doing their job watching and seeing for issues but instead looking at women’s breasts or butts just for the operators enjoyment. Some of the other findings include that security officers would follow young people and those of color disproportionately. These people are supposed to be protecting us.

On the border of the US there are high surveillance towers and high barbed wired fences to help mandate infractions and help agents to prevent anything unlawful to come across the border. There are more than plenty of differing displays of border surveillance. The European Union created the system EURODAC in 2003. This collected fingerprints and other information from individuals who were searching for sanctuary; refugees. The intentions of the EURODAC were meaningful but like any of the other technologies or regulations for security, it had changed and now is used through the creep function. This is what may have started as good intentions but has been changed by political circumstances.

I believe that people want to be protected from harm and have the right to do so. But is it against their rights to be overly searched and have their privacy invaded? These new surveillance technologies are claiming to help increase the protection of the citizens of the United States from future terrorist attacks. Studies are increasingly showing that these new policies are decreasing and falling into the state of being overprotective and aren’t very effectual in preventing crime and terrorism. The claims are truthful and have great intensions but at some point these new technologies are invading privacy and clearly prejudices and biases are getting in the way. Airports are starting to collect data that is seemingly unnecessary and it is creating friction between the security and those who plan to travel.

The surveillance production in these airports are billion dollar industries. They are invested to help and protect. The claim is true and with all good intensions but in all reality, it is just too much protection and too much security. Just for them to say that they have these technologies isn’t enough to have actual hard evidence that they work. In the end, the hard core surveillance is actually effecting and disturbing the right to privacy and crime is still present in airports today.


( http: / / / patents / US20040008253

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(Gilliom, John, and Torin Monahan. “Security at Any Cost?” Supervision: An Introduction Ti the Surveillance Society. Print)

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Week 6 News Digest

6 Utah stores affected in Jimmy John’s card data breach

Wednesday 24 September

Jimmy Johns (national sandwich franchise) released a list of stores affected by the card data breach, 6 out of the 216 were locations in Utah.  The login credentials were stolen from a point-of-sale vendor used by Jimmy Johns, making it so that the identity thieves could access part of the payment system. According to Jimmy Johns, customers’ names, verification codes, expiration dates, and card numbers may have been accessed in the data breach. On Wednesday the company said their system had been secured, and it was safe for customers to use payment cards again at their restaurants.

New body scanners aim to cut back on jail contraband

Wednesday 24 September

On Wednesday, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder released two new body scanning machines, called SecurPASS. These machines produce clear X-ray quality pictures and can detect anything hidden on-or inside of-inmates bodies. Every inmate changing into a jail jumpsuit in Salt Lake County Jail will be put through the machine before being released. Jail official estimate several hundred prisoners will be scanned a day, as they are planning on scanning all inmates who are transported in and out of the jail. Winder says “We know that contraband is being introduced into our facility. We tried to secure it every other way we could. But when someone has inserted it into their body, that makes it extremely difficult for us. This solves that problem.”

Police: Undercover officers able to trap man looking for teens for sex

Monday 22 September

Undercover officers set up a fake Facebook profile, and were able to catch a  52-year-old man trying to meet up with a young girl to have sex in a hotel room. The Facebook account was a fake social media profile of a 15-year-old girl. Officers say they got lucky when the man (David Kent Davis) starting talking to them without realizing he was talking to the police. Davis convinced the girl to meet him in a hotel room on a Friday afternoon, where Police were waiting for him. Davis admitted to coming to the hotel to meet up with a 15-year-old girl, and the Police were able to arrest him and charge him with a misdemeanor charge of enticing a minor over the internet.

Child Pornography Case Spurs Debate on Military’s Role in Law Enforcement

Sunday 21 September

A federal agent (Mr. Logan) working undercover signed on to a file-sharing network, sometimes used by child pornography traders. He was able to locate a computer that contained illegal photos and video, and downloaded multiple files as evidence. The owner of the computer was convicted and given an 18-year sentence at a federal prison. The problem with this case though, was that Mr. Logan was supposed to be searching for military service members trading in child pornography, not civilians. This sparked a debate over how much the military’s investigative powers can legally contribute to civilian law enforcement. One judge stated “The extraordinary nature of the surveillance here demonstrates a need to deter future violations.” The argument has been made that the military’s involvement had been minimal and Mr. Logan and colleagues had originally investigated because “we had the opportunity and the equipment”, but the case is still pending.

4chan to Emma Watson: You speak out on gender equality, we release nude photos

Monday 22 September

Emma Watson recently delivered a speech about ending gender inequality, to which a group on 4chan responded by creating a website called “Emma You Are Next.” The website is an alleged count down to a day when a 4chan user will release nude photographs of her. In part of the speech, she addressed the fact that “at 14, I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press”, which made her a target of interest for the “Emma You Are Next” site. Some are claiming the site is a hoax, but recent iCloud hacks make it hard to indicate whether or not it is real.

Movie vs. Reality. Can movie surveillance actually happen?

“Remember, remember the fifth of November.” A very famous quote from a movie where a totalitarian government rules futuristic London, and its people are watched at every second. V for Vendetta is a depiction of what could possibly happen if the government tried to monitor ordinary civilians’ every day life. The movie begins as a young women, Evey, is caught on the streets after curfew by policemen. These policemen mean to rape the young women and do her great harm. She is saved in the final moment by the anti-hero V.

Once Evey has been introduced to V, V takes Evey to see the fireworks that he has set up for the evening. Most certainly the fireworks were present on that night, but they were accompanied by the explosive demolition of the government’s courthouses. Evey goes home and tries to forget the whole incident. Little did she know that V would play a major role in her life. The next thing the government knows, V is on every single television in London calling for a rebellion on the next year’s fifth of November.

Over the course of a year, V begins his rebellion. As he builds his mutiny, he follows through on many personal vendettas against high authority figures in the government. On the fifth of November, the day V said the rebellion would take place, thousands of civilians show up to show their support of V. The movie ends, I apologize for the spoiler, with an explosion of the parliament building as a symbol of detest for the government’s totalitarian control.

All of this could have been easily avoided if the government didn’t keep a tight hold on the people. The biggest thing I think that the government did to the people was constantly lie to them. This country only had one news source and that news source came directly from the government. This means that the authorities controlled everything the people knew. When V demolished the courthouse building, the government told the people that the explosion with the fireworks was a planned demolition, with fireworks to send the building off with a bang.

The constant lies from the government was only the beginning. The government had patrol vehicles that would drive through neighborhoods and were able to record what was being said by the occupants in the houses. The fabricated news from the government was also a big issue that contributed greatly to the distrust the citizens had towards the government.

The non-stop surveillance of the government, in my opinion, did more harm than it did good. I understand that government wants to keep its people in line, and keep them safe. But there comes a point when there is just too much surveillance. There comes a point where the people can’t or won’t even speak their minds without the fear of being punished. There comes a point when the people will fight the power when they have had enough. with many revolutions in history, the fighting doesn’t start with the shot heard around the world. It gradually grows just like in V for Vendetta.

When the government started the habit of lying to the people to keep them in line, I think this is where things started to go downhill. With the constant surveillance on everyone, it was very difficult for anyone to do anything about the tyrannical government bearing down over them. The film continually showed the leader of this fictitious country as Big Brother and using all of his tools at his disposal to monitor his people. He used these devices for a very malicious cause to keep an eye over his people. He utilized these devices to rule his people with fear, and as we all know that never turns out well.

On both sides of this issue of surveillance, surveillance is helpful to both the people who are being surveyed and the people doing the surveillance. They both gain by having the safety of knowing that they’re trying to catch bad people meaning to do the country harm. On the other hand, the civilians’ privacy is all but gone. So the government has to choose either to hide their surveillance from the people, or openly admit to monitoring them at all times. I think more often than not, governments choose to hide their surveillance activity and eventually that activity gets exposed to the open public.

When we look at the reality of V for Vendetta, I think that the whole movie’s surveillance aspect is quite possible. We are already seeing forms of surveillance that we couldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago, and I am afraid of what surveillance might be capable of becoming 20 years from now. The result from the surveillance of these people from London I think is very possible even today. The complete revolution because of the constant surveillance and lies that are always being told. If a government is treating its people unfairly the people will retaliate. In the words of V: “People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.” All in all, I think that the surveillance depicted in V for Vendetta was very harmful to both the government and the people, and could quite possibly happen in today’s world.

Week 4 News Digest

Petition calls on Obama stop intimidation of journalists and whistleblowers

Monday 8 September

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) launched a petition demanding limitations to the surveillance of journalists. They have three key components to their petition, including the prohibition of the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations, the limitations of prosecutions of journalists and whistle blowers, and the termination of harassment of journalists along the US border. They were prompted to do this from evidence from the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, which reported that US and allied intelligence agencies were targeting various news organizations for surveillance. Many journalists have signed the petition, including journalists from CNN, Fox News, Associated Press, and Pen International.

Five Eyes spy pact: Transparency challenge lodged at European rights court

Tuesday 9 September

The Five Eyes spy pact that authorizes the sharing of intelligence between Britain, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be made transparent, according to an appeal launched at the European Court of Human Rights. The pact outlines the collaborations between the security agencies of multiple countries and how they pass on information. The Privacy International group (PI) issued an appeal to make it transparent this Tuesday. Currently the countries that are part of the Five Eyes pact share the information of citizens around the world constantly. If the appeal goes through, then the rules of the Five Eyes pact and how they deal with this information shall be made transparent.

U.S. threatened Yahoo with $250,000-a-day fine for withholding user data

Thursday 11 September

Yahoo! Inc claimed that the government of the U.S. threatened them in 2008 of a fine of $250000 a day in they didn’t comply with national security requests for user’s data. Yahoo challenged the NSA’s requests in court in 2007, and the documents of the case have been released today. They were the only company to refuse the requests in that era, choosing to fight against the requests instead of compromising the security of their users. The case was held in at the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which usually keeps all its cases secret. Even with the recent declassification of the case, portions of the documents remain sealed and classified.

City used high-tech tracking software at ‘13 Boston Calling

Monday 8 September

The city of Boston spent $650,000 to test surveillance software during last year’s Boston Calling music festival, using the technology to record the crowds of concertgoers without their knowledge. Boston was testing the software provided by IBM called “situational awareness” software that can use existing cameras. The city of Boston confirmed the use of the software when a journalist found documents from the project off the internet, which was uploaded by an IBM employee to a public server. The city is unclear if the software is impractical, however Boston remains interested in the practical use of the product. Situational awareness software is supposed to analyze video and indicate if an event of urgency is occurring.

Redactions in U.S. Memo Leave Doubts on Data Surveillance Program

Tuesday 6 September

The U.S. Justice department has recently declassified a memo from 2004 that approved surveillance and data collection activities for the NSA. The activities regard the Stellarwind program, a secret program instated by George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. The Obama administration voluntarily released the memo. A version was released in 2011 that was more heavily redacted, but this version still contains several other redactions as well. Some instances of core censored information from the memo include reasons for why the Justice Department made recording bulk emails from citizens illegal but permitted warrantless wiretapping and collection of phone records. The operations of the phone collection became public in December 2005, but the email operations didn’t until the Snowden Leak.


Weekly News Digest


Surveillance video shows missing man at SLC convenience store

September 2, 2014

Haldren Efren, a 20 year old from Micronesia, was reported missing on Sunday after arguing with his girlfriend at the Rockport State Park campsite and storming off. A Utah Department of Public Safety Helicopter and 20 workers from the Summit county search and rescue helped look for the man on Sunday. A convenience store near 150 South and 1300 West in Salt lake caught the man on surveillance video taken on Tuesday 3 hours after he went missing. It was also said he was seen heading to Evanston, Wyoming. He hasn’t come forward at all and they assume he doesn’t want to be found.


NYPD officers to begin wearing body cameras as part of settlement

September 4, 2014

Due to the recent death of Eric Garner during an arrest by New York city police officers, police commissioner William Bratton announced a pilot program on Thursday which requires 60 NYPD officers to wear body cameras on duty. Last year, a federal judge put a stop to their crime-stopping tactics saying they “unfairly targeted black men and did little to reduce crime.” While the body cameras are being implemented to keep the city of New York “safe and protected” many have concerns about mission privacy because the New York Police Department supposedly has a long history of watching and recording innocent NewYorkers.


‘Swatting’ prank caller victimizes Bluffdale homeowner

September 1, 2014

A man’s wife in Bluffdale was playing video games on a website called “Twitch” when out of nowhere someone started posting her personal information in the chat box. She deleted the comments and logged off only to see that the streamer had posted on twitter that the SWAT team would soon be at their home. The prank caller used Skype to contact the Saratoga Springs dispatch center at 9:30pm saying he had shot and killed his mother and was holding his father and brother hostage. The SWAT team did show up at their home and demanded the homeowner to surrender. He got a chance to explain it was an internet prank and he was innocent. Police are using the devices used in the prank (Skype and Twitch) to track down who it was that committed the crime and they will receive federal charges.


83 percent of Utahns want body cameras on police officers, poll shows

September 2, 2014

A recent poll shows that 83 percent of people living in Utah want police officers to wear body cameras anytime they interact with the public. Police officers have already been using these body cameras in public situations for 2 years. 145 officers already are equipped and 114 are soon to be. The cameras are under the cop’s control and are encouraged to be used during every encounter with any person. The video goes directly to the officer’s phone for them to watch instantaneously, but they are not able to save the video for their own use. The videos are later downloaded to ensure the cop’s and the public’s safety.


Dad in hot-car death case indicted on murder, child cruelty charges

September 4, 2014

Georgia man Justin Ross Harris was indicted on Thursday to charges of murder and child-cruelty 2 months after he was accused of leaving his 22 month old son in the hot car causing his death. Harris insists that his son’s death was an accident, but back in July police officers showed surveillance tapes proving Harrison had left his son in the hot car all day only stopping by to check on him once. Police also went through his web history and found evidence of him searching videos of killing people and “How to survive prison.” This evidence shows that the murder of his son was intentional and he will possibly face the death penalty.






Snowden: Hero or Criminal?

Edward Snowden had been working for the government, both NSA (National Security Agency) and CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), for just a short amount of time before he decided to make a decision that would change his life forever. Starting off as a security guard at the NSA, he somehow graduated to working an information-technology job at the CIA. While working at an NSA office in Oahu, Snowden then began to notice programs within the government that involved spying on citizens’ phone calls and emails. This seemed to have rubbed him the wrong way.

It wasn’t long after that that he began copying and storing confidential government documents to gather the data for the case he was building. He was preparing to reveal all the secrets of the government that took him in and offered him a way to support himself. It wasn’t until a month later, after he had collected as many confidential files as possible, that Snowden had begun leaking that information to the many reporters surrounding the NSA. He began to discuss his opinions publicly with these same reporters and this is what may have lead to his asylum in Russia. “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”. While Snowden shares his reasoning openly, stating that he did it for the sake of the American citizens, it is hard to tell just how heroic his actions really were. While some will say that Snowden was a hero that informed American citizens that the government had been spying on them, personally, some would have to argue that because of the way he had informed citizens and the harsh outcomes that have happened before can categorize him as a criminal.


Even though he believed that was he was doing was for the well being of the people of America, he caused more damage than he could have imagined. By revealing the fact that the NSA was invading the privacy of the citizens, he ended up ruining most of the security that was already in place. “First, there is the undeniable operational effect of informing adversaries of American intelligence’s tactics, techniques and procedures. Snowden’s disclosures go beyond the ‘”what” of a particular secret or source. He is busily revealing the ‘”how” of American collection.” By bringing this heightened awareness to the situation at hand, Snowden made it easier for the real criminals out there to commit their crimes of choice. He ultimately presented them with a warning, as well as the exact way they are being watched. This gave the real terrorists a way around the NSA so they could easily adapt and find new ways to hack into our governments system. In doing this, Snowden announced to other countries how  the security systems in the United States are running, which put us at a disadvantage. In the same way the criminals were made aware of how we are securing our citizens privacy, these other countries could find a way to evade the tactics we were practicing and find another way to invade our government.


Snowden was affected in a way most other NSA employees were not. Due to his own personal morals, he believed that he was righting a wrong in our government and security system. Although a lot of the citizens benefited from this announcement, Snowden was aiming to please himself and satisfy his own moral code. By saying this, it is not stating that what he did was not moral, but that Snowden could have thought of ways to get this information out and handling this information besides the way he had. Some could say that Snowden releasing this information benefitted them greatly to be more aware with what our government is doing involving us personally, but it was immoral in the fact that perhaps the nation did not need to know every detail of this situation. Snowden could have found a way to share this information without making it so public as to be also sharing this information with outsiders to our country. While it seems as though it is for the better good of the nation, it did more harm than good.

“The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistle-blower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air—and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it.”

Edward Snowden made what appeared to be an easy solution to a very complicated problem. By deciding to break the law and out the government, he made a rash decision. There were other ways he could have gone about this as mentioned in the quote earlier. He signed a contract with the NSA, stating that he would not share what he saw or did to the public, and he broke that contract. Snowden knew what he was signing up for. He knew what the NSA did and the fact that the first thing that bothered him, he decided to breach his contract and break the law, sharing the information he gathered with the first people to give him a chance.

“We’re not prepared to endorse that campaign, and we’re not even sure that Snowden qualifies as a whistle-blower in the strict sense of someone who discloses government information in order to expose illegal activity. The two surveillance programs he was apparently responsible for revealing — an electronic dragnet of Americans’ phone records and the monitoring of the contents of foreigners’ electronic communications — are legal, authorized by Congress and overseen (however indulgently) by federal judges.”

By releasing all of the information he had obtained to do what he thought of as the right thing to do, Snowden ended up causing more harm than he may have intended. Even though he came off as having the right intentions, he isn’t the hero he is made out to be. In the end he broke the law and caused the nation trouble, even if the citizens don’t realize it. There’s a fine line between security and spying. Our government is here to keep us safe and although it might have seemed like the right thing for Snowden to do, there is much more to it than invading the privacy of the citizens of the United States.

Students are a bit schizophrenic, and perhaps predictable, when it comes to privacy attitudes and practices

So, what do “typical” first year students at the University of Utah look like in terms of their attitudes and beliefs about privacy and surveillance?  What privacy practices do they follow and how accurate is their knowledge about privacy?

These and other questions were answered when  the 20 students (10 male and 10 female) enrolled in UGS 2260 “Privacy & Surveillance”  anonymously answered a 65 question survey before the first day of class.   What follows is a composite picture of the “average” class member, who we shall call by the androgynous name of “Pat.”

First, some demographics: 

Pat is 18 years of age, is from Utah, will likely major in political science or a science related field and intends to pursue an advanced degree.

Pat is social media savvy, having a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine and Google+ accounts.  However, she does not use Flickr or other photo sharing sites.  Pat has three email addresses and has used an opaque online user name which hides her real name as she believes anonymous speech is an important element of using the internet.  She does not subscribe to any RSS feeds, has never edited a Wikipedia page and is not a blog author, but she does post comments on blogs and online sites.  Pat’s primary source of news comes from social media and  although she sometimes reads online newspapers Pat never reads print newspapers for news.

Pat is also technologically savvy having first received a cell phone when she was 13 years old.   She maintains an online banking account, a frequent shopper digital account, orders and pays for products and services online, uses cloud storage and uses text messaging as the primary means of communicating with her friends when physically apart.  When communicating with her digital dinosaur parents and family she uses the phone.

Pat’s attitudes about privacy.

Pat is “somewhat uncomfortable” with the fact that some internet companies provide free services and in exchange collect personal information about her for advertising purposes , yet she uses such services and is willing to disclose personal information in exchange for the free services. She is only “mildly concerned” about her activities in public spaces being recorded, but believes that if a person takes a photograph of her in a public space that person should obtain her permission before posting it on the web.  Pat is of the strong view that she should be entitled to know what personal information about her is being collected by government and businesses and should also have the right  to delete personal information collected about her.  However, she is not willing to pay to either obtain or delete the information.  Pat views the privacy rights of public and private institutions in a markedly different manner.  She believes public institutions have an obligation to be transparent and have no right of privacy in how they operate.  On the other hand, private organizations have no obligation to be transparent and should have a right of privacy in their operations.  Interestingly, the distinction between public and private institutions does not extend to public and private individuals.  Both individuals, she says, are entitled to privacy in how they conduct their lives.   Pat places a higher value on privacy than institutional or personal security when the two are at odds and strongly believes that healthcare providers should not share her personal information even with other healthcare providers without her consent.

Pat’s privacy practices.

Although Pat believes Congress should enact Do-Not-Track legislation allowing her to opt out of online tracking, she believes it is the user who is primarily responsible for insuring the safe handling of personal information on online sites and networks, not government or the site owner.  Despite this latter view, however,  Pat’s efforts to protect her privacy are somewhat inconsistent and  lax.   She has password protected her mobile device , has modified the default privacy settings on some of her social networking accounts and sometimes turns off the geo-location feature on her phone.  On the other hand, she does not use separate passwords for her online accounts, has not enabled Google’s two-step authentication for her Gmail account, rarely clears her browser history, rarely deletes cookies from her computer and does not encrypt her emails.  She only “sometimes” reads a website’s privacy policy before establishing an account and she has not put a “Google alert” on her name.

Pat’s knowledge about privacy.

Like many people, Pat has several mistaken beliefs about online privacy.  She mistakenly believes that if a website has a privacy policy the site owner may not legally share  her personal information with other companies and must delete such information  on her request.  She does correctly know that a website does not need her permission to share her address and purchase history with the government, but erroneously believes that when she orders a pizza by phone for home delivery the pizza company may not sell her address or phone number to others.  Similarly, she incorrectly believes that when she gives her address and telephone number to the store cashier when making a purchase that the store may not sell that information absent her permission.

Any survey surprises?

Pat’s views and attitudes about privacy mirror the information learned from extensive surveys by the PEW Research Center.   See  Based on a 2013 national survey of persons aged 18-29, PEW concluded , among other things,  that young adults are more willing than older Americans to let companies use their personal data for commercial purposes, but are more skeptical about the government’s acquisition of personal information for purposes of combatting terrorism and better insuring personal safety.

It will be interesting to explore the reasons behind the privacy views of our class during the semester and to see if any views are changed as a result of the class.