I recently had an interesting discussion about privacy concerns associated with the advancement of technology. Spurred on by a video presentation in which a High School teacher, who provided school computers to students, also “spied” on those student to see what content they were viewing and what they were doing (using the video camera).
The video did not state whether or not the students were aware they could be watched but I somehow think they were warned. Regardless, with web 2.0 or emerging technologies and more advance tracking tools also comes the burden of less anonymity.
Or is it a burden? Does a video in the classroom spy on you- or keep you safe from the threat of impropriety?
Are tools that track your spending habits used to brand you and possibly incriminate you, or are they useful for helping you find what you want in the web of confusion?
As James asked, is there anything wrong with losing some privacy if it means no one has any more secrets?
Personally, I wonder where our modern, Western idea of privacy came from. I was watching a bit of a show on PBS the other day tracking the concept of individual truth in philosophy. Which in some ways seems contradictory to the idea of connectivism -or group truth- that is being espoused in learning today. I can see where the conflict arises. I also know that there surely must be common ground.
There’s the old saying, your freedom ends where mine begins. This line is not always easy to find however in my opinion it can be applied to privacy rights. Personally, I don’t mind technology tracking my purchases or choices as long as those choices aren’t used to send me to jail, discriminate against me or infringe on my rights. I think this is where the law comes in to play and so far, I haven’t heard of many of these kinds of cases. Though I admit I’m probably not as aware as others and I’d love to hear some specific examples of this sort of discrimination.