Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Choose Privacy Week Starts Today

There has been a lot of controversy here at Bridgewater State University during the past week over an article that was published in the student newspaper The Comment after a young woman spoke at a "Take Back the Night" rally and the newspaper printed more information about her than she wanted released. The editor of the paper has been asked by University administration to remove the article from the website, and large quantities of print copies of the paper disappeared from the stands (FYI - censorship will only bring more attention to whatever issue the censors wish to suppress). Some news reports indicated that the faculty adviser resigned, or that he had been fired, neither of which were true. There has been quite a bit of discussion on campus about what the roles of the paper, and also the young woman (who wanted to remain anonymous) were in this incident. I am afraid that as a society we have become desensitized to privacy issues. I am not sure that people understand that in many settings, both online, and in person, they are giving up some privacy. In passing the USA PATRIOT ACT the government told us that in order to protect us, we had to submit to Orwellian surveillance. In addition, personal information that once required court orders and subpoenas, in the digital age, is easily discovered through bread crumbs that we ourselves leave in the form of text messages, Facebook, and blogs!. The American Library Association is sponsoring Choose Privacy Week as a way to begin a conversation about privacy rights in the digital age. What information do you want people to know about you?

Watch this video to find out the wide variety of ways people think about privacy.


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