#404 – The Erosion of Privacy on The Social Web with Jennifer Golbeck PhD

Jennifer Golbeck

Dr. Jennifer Golbeck is Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab and an
Associate Professor in the College of Information Studies at the
University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on analyzing and computing with social media. This includes building models of social relationships, particularly trust, as
well as user preferences and attributes, and using the results to design
and build systems that improve the way people interact with information

Here are links to some of the Internet resources we mentioned during the interview:

Her TED.com presentation.
The Curly Fries Study that she cites in that presentation.
The article about how to delete all your Facebook content.
The tool that analyzes your Twitter feed for emotional content.
The Forbes article about the pregnant teen.

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One Comment

  1. John Knight
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I had to take an hour away from study when I saw this episode come up, as it’s an issue that resonates deeply with me.

    For me, this is already a nightmare scenario, and I think the only reason people aren’t that fussed is through gradualism (“I guess we’ve seen it all before”… “well, they’ve already done this, they may as well do that”, and so on). Just think: if we’d have told people ten years ago that this is what the internet – and its integration with the physical world – would look like, it would have been dismissed as conspiracy theory nonsense. But here we are.

    I find myself feeling utterly disempowered, frustrated, and my protests futile, as I watch the importance of privacy become more disrespected and less appreciated by the day. The worst part is the way social networking in particular integrates itself into so-called “real-life”, and I watch friends and family give in to the mass-scale privacy erosions, either because it’s convenient, or all of their friends are doing it.

    I find much requires that you have a Facebook account for instance, and I’ve found the only way around this is to (somewhat illegally) create an account under an alias, simply in order to use certain services. I have a Twitter account, but when I got past the juvenile need to be popular online, I locked it down to its highest privacy setting (Twitter are at least much more conscientious around privacy than Facebook are).

    I try and warn people about the exact things discussed in this programme – particularly in the wake of this new era of McCarthyism – but people aren’t listening. It’s easier just to go with it.

    I have no idea what to do, and I don’t see this being resolved any time soon: I think we’re heading somewhere quite bad, and in the end, it’ll be convenience that was the culprit.

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