Mini Conference at APPE, Mar 2014, Jacksonville FL - "Liberty and Security: A Town Hall Discussion" | @APPEOnline http://t.co/kjb02t5b1o
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@TeachRCR) December 12, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Web Science is the emergent science of the people, organizations, applications, and of policies that shape and are shaped by the Web, the largest informational artifact constructed by humans in history. Web Science embraces the study of the Web as a vast universal information network of people and communities. As such, Web Science includes the study of social networks whose work, expression, and play take place on the Web. The social sciences and computational sciences meet in Web Science and complement one another: Studying human behavior and social interaction contributes to our understanding of the Web, while Web data is transforming how social science is conducted. The Web presents us with a great opportunity as well as an obligation: If we are to ensure the Web benefits humanity we must do our best to understand it.
Call for Papers
The Web Science conference is inherently interdisciplinary, as it attempts to integrate computer and information sciences, communication, linguistics, sociology, psychology, economics, law, political science, philosophy, digital humanities, and other disciplines in pursuit of an understanding of the Web. This conference is unique in the manner in which it brings these disciplines together in creative and critical dialogue, and we invite papers from all the above disciplines, and in particular those that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Following the success of WebSci09 in Athens, WebSci10 in Raleigh, WebSci11 in Koblenz, WebSci 12 in Evanston, and WebSci13 in Paris, for the 2014 conference we are seeking papers and posters that describe original research, analysis, and practice in the field of Web Science, as well as work that discusses novel and thought-provoking ideas and works-in-progress.
Possible topics for submissions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Analysis of human behavior using social media, mobile devices, and online communities
- Methodological challenges of analyzing Web-based large-scale social interaction
- Data-mining and network analysis of the Web and human communities on the Web
- Detailed studies of micro-level processes and interactions on the Web
- Collective intelligence, collaborative production, and social computing
- Theories and methods for computational social science on the Web
- Studies of public health and health-related behavior on the Web
- The architecture and philosophy of the Web
- The intersection of design and human interaction on the Web
- Economics and social innovation on the Web
- Governance, democracy, intellectual property, and the commons
- Personal data, trust, and privacy
- Web and social media research ethics
- Studies of Linked Data, the Cloud, and digital eco-systems
- Big data and the study of the Web
- Web access, literacy, and development
- Knowledge, education, and scholarship on and through the Web
- People-driven Web technologies, including crowd-sourcing, open data, and new interfaces
- Digital humanities
- Arts & culture on the Web or engaging audiences using Web resources
- Web archiving techniques and scholarly uses of Web archives
- New research questions and thought-provoking ideas
Web Science is necessarily a very selective single track conference with a rigorous review process. To accommodate the distinct traditions of its many disciplines, we provide three different submission formats: full papers, short papers, and posters. For all types of submissions, inclusion in the ACM DL proceedings will be by default, but not mandatory (opt-out via EasyChair). All accepted research papers (full and short papers) will be presented during the single-track conference. All accepted posters will be given a spot in the single-track lightning talk session, and room to present their papers during a dedicated poster session.
Full research papers (5 to 10 pages, ACM double column, 20 mins presentation including Q&A)
Full research papers should present new results and original work that has not been previously published. Research papers should present substantial theoretical, empirical, methodological, or policy-oriented contributions to research and/or practice.
Short research papers (up to 5 pages, ACM double column, 15 mins presentation including Q&A)
Short research papers should present new results and original work that has not been previously published. Research papers can present preliminary theoretical, empirical, methodological, or policy-oriented contributions to research and/or practice.
Full and short paper submissions should be formatted according to the official ACM SIG proceedings template (WebSci archive format at http://www.acm.org/sigs/publications/proceedings-templates).
Posters (up to 6 pages, ACM abstract template, lightning talk + poster presentation)
Extended abstracts for posters, which should be in English, can be up to 6 pages, and should be formatted according to the official ACM SIG abstract template (extended abstract format at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pl130rtd134fxu6/hiyzXgWwTs).
Other creative submission formats (flexible formats)
Other types of creative submissions are also encouraged, and the exact format and style of presentation are open. Examples might include artistic performances or installations, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, or other creative formats. For these submissions, the proposers should make clear both what they propose to do, and any special requirements they would need to successfully do it (in terms of space, time, technology, etc.)
Instructions for all types of submissions will be posted on the WebSci14 conference website soon.
The Web Science program committee consists of a program committeethat covers all relevant areas of Web Science. Each submission will be refereed by three PC members and one short meta review written by a Co-PC chair,to cover both the research background of each submission as well as the necessary interdisciplinary aspects.
(Optional) Archival Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library
All accepted papers and posters will by default appear in the Web Science 2014 Conference Proceedings and can also be made available through the ACM Digital Library, in the same length and format of the submission unless indicated otherwise (those wishing not to be indexed and archived can opt out of the proceedings).
Full & Short Papers:
- 23 February 2014: Submissions of full and short papers
- 13 April 2014: Notification of acceptance for papers
- 11 May 2014: Camera-ready version of papers and posters due
- 23 March 2014: Submissions of posters
- 13 April 2014: Notification of acceptance for posters
- 11 May 2014: Camera-ready version of posters due
Call for Workshops
TBA - more information will be made available on the conference website soon
Conference calendar and rough program
- 23 June 2014: workshops, opening reception and keynote
- 24 June 2014: keynote(s), technical program, poster reception
- 25 June 2014: keynote(s), technical program, social event
- 26 June 2014: keynote, technical program, closing
- Fil Menczer, Indiana University
- Jim Hendler, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Bill Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
- Markus Strohmaier, University of Koblenz and GESIS (Computing)
- Ciro Cattuto, ISI Foundation (Physics)
- Eric T. Meyer, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford (Social Sciences)
Sunday, November 3, 2013
A 2-Way Wrist Radio is preferable to an embedded chip - "If a Young Child Wanders, Technology Can Follow" | @NYTimes http://t.co/qAZxd9pctV
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) November 3, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., collect data for the NSA; who knew? - "The Information-Gathering Paradox" | @NYTimes http://t.co/MEMvNfjJAU
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 27, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
All of that was triggered by these two stories in the Times. The first is just about a handful of Google Glass wannabes. Irritating, invasive, privacy-decomposing - but we're getting braced for the flood.
Cyborgs stalking us all - the actual zombie invasion? - "Seeking a Staredown With Google Glass" | @NYTimes http://t.co/S9QaDAb78cBut along with it comes this:
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 13, 2013
Computational voice analysis and diagnosis of mood, personality - "In a Mood? Call Center Agents Can Tell" | @NYTimes http://t.co/1qITVvLKn6Somebody give me a "Come on, now!"
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 13, 2013
Here are my two favorite passages:
The more invasive audio mining also has the potential to unnerve some consumers, who might squirm at the idea of an unknown operator getting an instant entree into their psyche.That's an understatement.
“It seems to me that the biggest risk of this technology is not that it violates people’s privacy, but that companies might believe in it and use it to make judgments about customers or potential employees,” says George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. “That could end up being used to make arbitrary and potentially discriminatory decisions.”I don't know about you, but to me this is a no-win proposition. If the software works as advertised, it's the most severe invasion of privacy we're likely to see until Isaac Asimov's pscyho-probe comes around. If it doesn't work, but people believe in it, it'll be another source of confusion and another tool in the power-abuser kit.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Remember "don't be evil?" Say it ain't so, Google! - "Google to Sell Users’ Endorsements" | @NYTimes http://t.co/1XZpp2Y5jt
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 12, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Open source hardware for the Internet? Intriguing.... - "Let’s Build a More Secure Internet" | @NYTimes http://t.co/oq3Ot4fJQS
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 9, 2013
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
In 1982, I graduated with a B.S. in mathematics. I was young and ignorant and naive, and the only math jobs I knew of were either college teaching or in the military-industrial complex. I didn't think I was good enough in math to go to graduate school and I didn't want to contribute to the war in Viet Nam, so I took another route.
I later came to believe that we should not vilify people who work in industries that we deplore. If liberal academics (like me) condemn others like us except that they might apply for a job that happens to have military connections, only the very boldest will apply and the majority of applicants might well be militaristic jingoist fundamentalists intent on ushering in the apocalypse. (I came of age during the nuclear freeze movement and Secretary of Interior James Watt.)
My characterization of "them" is intentionally exaggerated, but I hope you get the point: If people who share my values are shut out from certain areas of study, only people who don't share my values will have a voice. This is unacceptable in a democracy.
My Q: Can working for spies temper their tendency toward abuse? - "Researchers split over NSA hacking" | @NatureNews http://t.co/TY5RNFiWS4
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) October 8, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
A truly worthwhile use of smartphones - "Disruptions: Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World" http://t.co/b4t8K0Ibx9
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) September 30, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
State-by-state online privacy? I'm not optimistic - "Sharing, With a Safety Net" | @nytimes http://t.co/dGYQxqeG7d
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) September 20, 2013
The other face of the Flash Crash - "Computer Flaws Get Wry Smile From Humans Displaced" | @nytimes http://t.co/MazrxO2XiU
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) September 20, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
eBook now available for purchase - Emerging Pervasive ICT (PICT): Ethical Challenges, Opportunities, and Safeguards http://t.co/klg7GT7Imi— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
First, facial-recognition databases should be populated only with images of known terrorists and convicted felons. Driver’s license photos and other images of “ordinary” people should never be included in a facial-recognition database without the knowledge and consent of the public.I approve of the second policy 100%, but I wonder whether having the faces of ordinary people on file would tend to make the database more effective in identifying criminals. In some areas, having tons of data give systems greater power; when Netflix knows that I like movies A, B, and C, and that several hundreds of people who like A, B, and C also like movie D, it's a good guess that I'd like D, too. Is there an analog to this in facial recognition?
Second, access to databases should be limited and monitored. Officers should be given access only after a court grants a warrant. The access should be tracked and audited. The authorities should have to publicly report what databases are being mined and provide aggregate numbers on how often they are used.
Slouching toward Big Brother (or maybe not) - "The Face Scan Arrives" | http://t.co/F7mOok0vUw
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 30, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Is this scary, or just silly? - "I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot." | http://t.co/nxcbUd9vUA
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 21, 2013
Interactive advertising might hit a new high (or low) - "How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass" | http://t.co/BjGUAca1uV
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 21, 2013
NSA collection of metadata doesn't hold a candle to this - "Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance" | http://t.co/jj93WIcXlX
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 21, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A truly important app - "Children Lost in War Zones and Disasters Find Their Families With an App" | @nytimes http://t.co/i9heSczqFa
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 20, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
The good guys shut down, the big guys profit - "2 E-Mail Services Close and Destroy Data Rather Than Reveal Files" | http://t.co/qo5IR2Byhw
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 10, 2013
Friday, August 9, 2013
Research by Global Pulse and other groups, for example, has found that analyzing Twitter messages can give an early warning of a spike in unemployment, price rises and disease. Such “digital smoke signals of distress,” Mr. [Robert] Kirkpatrick [who leads Global Pulse] said, usually come months before official statistics — and in many developing countries today, there are no reliable statistics.I shouldn't have been surprised by this; people who want to help people, just like people who want to make money, are innovative, hard working, and alert to new tools. I am pleased to learn of this movement.
Big Data can be a tool for good, apparently - "Searching Big Data for ‘Digital Smoke Signals’" | http://t.co/0D9rpDz7ig
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 9, 2013
Saturday, August 3, 2013
CreepyDOL and the war on security researchers - "A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor" http://t.co/YrPZdsd92bCould it be coming to a location (uncomfortably) near you?
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) August 3, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
"Pinterest Allows Users to Opt Out of Being Tracked" while tracking the rest more aggressively http://t.co/fM3o1KPURUIt's one of those taking away with your right hand what you gave with your left situations. Here's a key paragraph:
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) July 27, 2013
As for people who do not select the Do Not Track feature, Pinterest will be watching over their shoulders more than it has in the past. As Twitter did in 2012, Pinterest introduced a new feature that it says will help surface better content to users.Here's the score for Pintrest:
- 5 points for allowing users to opt in for do-not-track,
- -8 points for increasing invasiveness for users who do not opt out, and
- -15 points for failing to use an opt-in model instead (so that no one would be tracked unless explicitly invited Pinterest to follow them wherever they go).
Monday, July 8, 2013
Adverts right to your brain via bone conduction - "Whispering sweet nothings in commuters’ ears" | BioEdge http://t.co/XqgKTwxvD2
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) July 8, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Just what we need: An arms war between the snoops and their targets - "Stealth Wear Aims to Make a Tech Statement" http://t.co/lgRsnUZIFg
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) June 30, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I summarize below (do read the whole article). Passages that are not direct quotations should be taken as my editorial ranting.
"In April, the federal government recommended that automakers voluntarily limit the technology in their cars to keep drivers focused," but automakers see dollar signs when they think about installing this stuff. Profits! Profits! Who cares about safety?
Research led by "David Strayer, a neuroscientist at the University of Utah who for two decades has applied the principles of attention science to driver behavior," shows that
What makes the use of these speech-to-text systems so risky is that they create a significant cognitive distraction.... The brain is so taxed interacting with the system that, even with hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, the driver’s reaction time and ability to process what is happening on the road are impaired.(Some of Strayer's earlier research showed that "talking on a phone while driving creates the same level of crash risk as someone with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, the legal level for intoxication across the country.)
And it's not just that speech-to-text is distracting, but that it's more distracting than other activities. In his latest study, Strayer and his colleagues "compared the impact on drivers of different activities, including listening to a book on tape or the radio, and talking on a hand-held phone or hands-free phone" and found "the results were consistent across all the tests in finding that speech-to-text technology caused a higher level of cognitive distraction than any of the other activities."
The only way this technology should be legal would be if the driver could not use it. I suspect it would be safe to install it in the back seats of limos, for example. There might even be a way for a passenger in the front seat, but not the drive, to use it - I don't know how that would be accomplished, but that would probably be fairly safe, too.
We really don't need more distracted drivers.
This is a must-read - "Voice-Activated Technology Is Called Safety Risk for Drivers" | @nytimes nyti.ms/19ptopDSee also in this blog (listed from most to least recent) "Device Prevents Driving While Phone Is In Use," "Attention Turns to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians," and "Cell Carriers Explore Ways to Limit Distracted Driving."
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) June 13, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Here's a bit more from the summary: "In the lab, cling wrap–like circuitry draped over the hearts of test animals can track the activity of each of the heart's four chambers and kill tissue that initiate potentially deadly arrhythmias. Other arrays penetrate brain tissue to monitor the abnormal nerve firing patterns in epilepsy or induce gene expression in the brain tissue of mice."
From summary: "Electronic components are invading the body." - "The Cyborg Era Begins" | @sciencemagazine s.shr.lc/ZWbIyN
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) June 7, 2013
Monday, June 3, 2013
"Dubbed the Marauder's Map after the magical map used by Harry Potter, the system takes security camera footage and analyses it using an algorithm that combines facial recognition, colour matching of clothing, and a person's expected position based on their last known location."
Thanks to Francis Harvey for drawing my attention to this.
Soon they'll know where we are, at any time - "Smart map tracks people through camera networks" | New Scientist newscientist.com/article/mg2182…
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) June 3, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Emerging Pervasive Information and Communication Technologies (PICT): Ethical Challenges, Opportunities and Safeguards
Edited by Kenneth D. Pimple, Ph.D.To be published by Springer; expected publication date June 30, 2013.
This book provides a wide and deep perspective on the ethical issues raised by pervasive information and communication technology (PICT) – small, powerful, and often inexpensive Internet-connected computing devices and systems. It describes complex and unfamiliar technologies and their implications, including the transformative potential of augmented reality, the power of location-linked information, and the uses of “big data,” and explains potential threats, including privacy invaded, security violated, and independence compromised, often through widespread and lucrative manipulation.
PICT is changing how we live, providing entertainment, useful tools, and life-saving systems. But the very smartphones that connect us to each other and to unlimited knowledge also provide a stream of data to systems that can be used for targeted advertising or police surveillance. Paradoxically, PICT expands our personal horizons while weaving a web that may ensnare whole communities.
Chapters describe particular cases of PICT gone wrong, but also highlight its general utility. Every chapter includes ethical analysis and guidance, both specific and general. Topics are as focused as the Stuxnet worm and as broad as the innumerable ways new technologies are transforming medical care.
Written for a broad audience and suitable for classes in emerging technologies, the book is an example of anticipatory ethics – “ethical analysis aimed at influencing the development of new technologies” (Deborah Johnson 2010).
The growth of PICT is outpacing the development of regulations and laws to protect individuals, organizations, and nations from unintended harm and malicious havoc. This book alerts users to some of the hazards of PICT; encourages designers, developers, and merchants of PICT to take seriously their ethical responsibilities – if only to “do no harm” – before their products go public; and introduces citizens and policy makers to challenges and opportunities that must not be ignored.
Friday, May 17, 2013
So: Is that appealing, appalling, or what?
Thanks to Francis Harvey for sharing this.
"In the Programmable World, All Our Objects Will Act as One" | Wired - Gadget Lab s.shr.lc/6hNVx2 - s.shr.lc/12AOtIw
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Everyone wants dispensation from protecting privacy, including scientists - "Privacy in the digital age" | Nature s.shr.lc/107Yz3T
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) May 17, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Are self-driving cars the way of the future? - "Sustainable mobility: A vision of our transport future" | go.nature.com/Eb9BU3
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) May 16, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Here it comes, for $1500 - Google Emulates Apple in Restricting Apps for Glass | The New York Times nyti.ms/Z0YsGB
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 17, 2013
It's "possible to identify a user from only 4 data points" - Mobile location data 'present anonymity risk' | BBS News bbc.in/101ySix
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 17, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Monitoring online tests for online classes - Behind the Webcam's Watchful Eye |The Chronicle of Higher Education - bit.ly/15aNnX6
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 15, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
High-tech gateway to mail-order narcotics - Bubble or No, This Virtual Currency Is a Lot of Coin in Any Realm nyti.ms/17lTGXo
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 8, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Less attention to teaching and fewer jobs for scholars? - Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break nyti.ms/ZaKIof
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 6, 2013
Can someone explain this to me? Pure vanity? - Fake Twitter Followers Become Multimillion-Dollar Business nyti.ms/12rV9aW
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) April 7, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
We don't tend to act as if we want to protect our privacy - Letting Down Our Guard With Web Privacy | NY Times nyti.ms/ZOtvV8— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 31, 2013
Wouldn't some real protection be nice? - An American Quilt of Privacy Laws, Incomplete | The New York Times nyti.ms/16oJqfo— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 31, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Facebook strives to be biggest of Big Data monsters - What You Didn’t Post, Facebook May Still Know | New York Times nyti.ms/1090YXM— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 26, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Useful and damaging; proceed with care - Big Data Is Opening Doors, but Maybe Too Many | New York Times nyti.ms/ZJv46g— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 24, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
How dangerous can those little drones be? - Senate Panel Weighs Privacy Concerns Over Use of Drones | New York Times nytimes.com/2013/03/21/us/…
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 21, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Not good enough; hands-free is still too dangerous - Device Prevents Driving While Phone Is In Use | PSFK s.shr.lc/Zb1nry
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 19, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
Not mostly about killing, but still ... - Domestic Drones Stir Imaginations, and Concerns | The New York Times nyti.ms/Wxjz1S
— Kenneth D. Pimple (@Ethical_PICT) March 18, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Session organizers are Rodolphe Devillers, Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Francis Harvey, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota; and Dawn Wright, Environmental Systems Research Institute and College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University.
From the organizers' Web site:
Ethical engagements with the multitude of GIS applications and uses, whether surreptitious or overt, have marked recent developments in the field. Indeed, the variety of applications of geographic information science & technology (GIS&T) has led the U.S. Department of Labor to highlight geospatial/geographic technologies as the third largest high-growth job field for the 21st century. While the potential benefits and risks of geographic technologies are becoming well known, these sessions provides a forum to engage ethical issues. For instance:My thanks to Deepsea Dawn Wright for sharing this information.
Papers in this session again engaged with the above issues in relationship to GIScience, including such topics as:
- Geographic technologies are surveillance technologies. The data they produce may be used to invade the privacy, and even the autonomy, of individuals and groups.
- Data gathered using geographic technologies are used to make policy decisions. Erroneous, inadequately documented, or inappropriate data can have grave consequences for individuals and the environment.
- Geographic technologies have the potential to exacerbate inequities in society, insofar as large organizations enjoy greater access to technology, data, and technological expertise than smaller organizations and individuals.
- Georeferenced photos, tweets and volunteered (and unvolunteered) geographic information can reveal private information. Those data that are increasingly publically available and used to study societal phenomena raise significant privacy concerns.
These sessions are co-sponsored by the AAG GI Systems & Science and Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Specialty Groups.
- case studies, curriculum development, or the pedagogy of teaching GIS ethical issues;
- issues of privacy, surveillance, inequity, erroneous or inappropriate data concerning geographic technologies;
- codes of ethics and conduct of professional organizations;
- GIS professional development;
- reflections on the changing nature of ethical issues in GIS&T
The quotations in this entry are from an article by Stephanie Simon and published by Reuters, "K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents" (March 3, 2013).
School districts will be able to use the database free of charge (for now). This one database will be able to integrate a school's student data in one place. "Schools tend to store different bits of student information in different databases, often with different operating systems." This is inefficient on its face, and it makes it difficult for schools to provide instruction tailored to the abilities and interests of students.
Seven states are already signed up, and the larger the pool of school districts, the more useful the database will be. Creators of educational technologies will be able to mine the database and create better education packages, including custom packages for states, school districts, individual schools, clusters of students (sports fans, say, or those who struggle with math), and even individuals.
Just think of the possibilities. With several states using the same platform for data, there will be huge incentive for technology companies to get on the band wagon. It seems likely that better and less expensive applications will appear quickly.
This all sounds great, and if it is handled properly, it might be truly wonderful. But if there weren't a down side, I wouldn't be writing about it.
In order to exploit the database, corporations will have to have access to all of this student data.
In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion.What about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the U.S. Department of Education's regulation to protect student privacy and is known to make it difficult for families paying their children's college tuition to see the kid's grades? Apparently it's no obstacle.
Federal officials say the database project complies with privacy laws. Schools do not need parental consent to share student records with any "school official" who has a "legitimate educational interest," according to the Department of Education. The department defines "school official" to include private companies hired by the school, so long as they use the data only for the purposes spelled out in their contracts.It's not hopeless: "Local education officials retain legal control over their students' information" and the database "gives school administrators full control over student files, so they could choose to share test scores with a vendor but withhold social security numbers or disability records." Still, there are reasons for concern.
"Once this information gets out there, it's going to be abused. There's no doubt in my mind," said Jason France, a father of two in Louisiana.
Did I mention that the database infrastructure was built by Amplify Education, a division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp?
How do you think that will work out?