EDU520 – Week V Information Privacy

Tis is our 5th week in EDU520. This week we discuss the intracsies of Information Privacy & Copyright.

Dr. Soper speaks about information privacy  in his 12th security lesson which is more than relevant to this weeks course material. I wanted to share this video.

This is an interesting topic this week. I wanted to start by sharing a website that talks about the 1st amendment and how free speech and social media go together. I think this site summarizes most of what I want to describe in my own words. Sara Hawkins wrote an interesting article about how free speech coincides with social media. Since our class revolves around digital media and we are learning, I felt this was an interesting read.


I feel that confidentiality is one of the major concerns that people have today. When I think of public versus private, I think of my family and my personal issues. I feel that my personal issues are private information.

I understand that aspect of public versus privacy. I feel that some people get angry at the fact the police were called to domestic disputes or arguments, but when people make thinks that are supposed to be private public, then this is what happens to those individuals. When somebody else can hear anger or feel the intent of violence, everyone is a ‘safety officer’ so to say. It is our responsibility as people to ensure that we live safe and have a sense of security no matter where we are. This is where intervention comes into play. It is our duty as people (citizens) to intervene when in need.

I was reading some information about confidentiality from the University of Washington School of Medicine. I felt this was relevant in regards to what we are learning this week and I wanted to share some good information.


Definition of Privacy – University of California Irvine (UCI) – Office of Research:

What is Privacy?

“Privacy is the control over the extent, timing, and circumstances of sharing oneself (physically, behaviorally, or intellectually) with others. For example, persons may not want to be seen entering a place that might stigmatize them, such as a pregnancy counseling center clearly identified by signs on the front of the building. The evaluation of privacy also involves consideration of how the researcher accesses information from or about potential participants (e.g., recruitment process). IRB members consider strategies to protect privacy interests relating to contact with potential participants, and access to private information.” (Privacy and Confidentiality. (2015). Retrieved May 30, 2016, from


Another definition of privacy:

“Privacy can be defined as an individual condition of life characterized by exclusion from publicity (Neetling et al., 1996, p. 36). The concept follows from the right to be left alone (Stair, 1992, p. 635; Shank, 1986, p. 12)1 . Shank (1986, p. 13) states that such a perception of privacy set the course for passing of privacy laws in the United States for the ninety years that followed. As such privacy could be regarded as a natural right, which provides the foundation for the legal right. The right to privacy is therefore protected under private law.

The legal right to privacy is constitutionally protected in most democratic societies. This constitutional right is expressed in a variety of legislative forms. Examples include the Privacy Act (1974) in the USA, the proposed Open Democracy Act in South Africa (1996) and the Data Protection Act in England. During 1994 Australia also accepted a Privacy Charter containing 18 privacy principles which describe the right of a citizen concerning personal privacy as effected by handling of information by the state (Collier, 1994, p. 44-45). The Organization for Economic and Coordination and Development (OECD) also accepted in 1980 the Guidelines for the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flow of Personal Data (Collier, 1994, p. 41).

Privacy is an important right because it is a necessary condition for other rights such as freedom and personal autonomy. There is thus a relationship between privacy, freedom and human dignity. Respecting a person’s privacy is to acknowledge such a person’s right to freedom and to recognize that individual as an autonomous human being.

The duty to respect a person’s privacy is furthermore a prima facie duty. In other words, it is not an absolute duty that does not allow for exceptions. Two examples can be given. Firstly, the police may violate a criminal’s privacy by spying or by seizing personal documents (McGarry, 1993, p. 178)2 . A government also has the right to gather private and personal information from its citizens with the aim of ensuring order and harmony in society (Ware, 1993:205). The right to privacy (as an expression of individual freedom) is thus confined by social responsibility.” (Britz, J. J. (n.d.). TECHNOLOGY AS A THREAT TO PRIVACY: Ethical Challenges. Retrieved May 30, 2016, from’96/96-025-Britz.html).



When I think of public content, one of the first things that come to my mind is the safety and security for families and our children. I believe public refers to data such as sex offenders and felonious acts. I feel that people in general need to be able to look up and see who are in their neighborhoods so they can make decisions, which may significantly impact the lifestyle and well being of, their family members.

Class did you know there is two types of public information? There is information that a user shares and information gathered through electronic tracking.

Information that a user shares could be in the form of photos or other media, age and gender, biographical data, status updates such as posts or blogs, contacts, interests and geographical location.

Information gathered through electronic tracking could be in the form of tracking which websites an individual has viewed, storing information associated with specific websites (cookies or even items in a shopping cart), and building a profile around a user.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse goes over plenty of information in regards to public and private (digital media). This is a great website to encompass during our Wiki projects.



When I think of private, the first couple things that come to my mind are education records, medical information, credit scores, social security numbers, birthdays, birth certificates, social security cards, bank accounts, credit card information, wills, trusts and classified material. These are things that people need to have a need to know to access this information. Anything that deals with personal identifiable information (PII) should be safe guarded.

I was reviewing some information about education records and I wanted to share some information I read within.

“Student education records are official and confidential documents protected by one of the nation’s strongest privacy protection laws, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, defines education records as all records that schools or education agencies maintain about students.

FERPA gives parents (as well as students in postsecondary schools) the right to review and confirm the accuracy of education records. This and other United States “privacy” laws ensure that information about citizens collected by schools and government agencies can be released only for specific and legally defined purposes. Since enacting FERPA in 1974, Congress has strengthened privacy safeguards of education records through this law, refining and clarifying family rights and agency responsibilities to protect those rights.

FERPA’s legal statute citation can be found in the U.S. Code (20 USC 1232g), which incorporates all amendments to FERPA. FERPA regulations are found in the Federal Register (34 CFR Part 99). FERPA’s 1994 amendments are found in Public Law (P.L.) 103-382.” (Protecting the Privacy of Student Education Records. (1997, March). Retrieved May 30, 2016, from