PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

Cartoon: Social Media

Cartoon Social Media - TeachPrivacy Privacy Training 02 small

It is hard to imagine a world without social media. People are increasingly relying on social media to maintain friendships, share photos and happenings with family, and keep current with the news.  But there’s a dark side – more superficial relationships, cyberbullying, harassment, hate speech, and manipulation. Social media has become a cesspool of lies and misinformation campaigns, a place where radicalized hate groups can spread their venom, recruit more members, and rally their followers to attack.

Several prominent social media sites are struggling to figure out what to do. In the early days of the commercial Internet (mid 1990s through early 2000s), idealists pushed a vision of the Internet as a free speech zone. Bad speech would be countered and beaten by good speech, lies would be defeated by truth, and freedom and happiness would reign.  Platforms could just remain neutral and rarely intervene.  They could mainly let the battles be fought, with the faith that eventually the forces of good would win out over the forces of evil.

But this view is naive. We have seen in the past 10-15 years that lies, hate, harassment, defamation, invasion of privacy, and many other social ills are festering online. Social media platforms must wake up and realize that the earlier idealism isn’t the direction reality is taking us. A position of neutrality isn’t appropriate. Platforms must intervene more; they must govern.

Social media platforms currently lack much experience and skill with governance. They don’t have enough personnel who have the background to formulate wise rules, procedures, and due process.  But the call for platforms to govern is increasing in volume, and they can’t keep avoiding it. This is why social media companies should start hiring more people in the humanities, who often have a background in thinking about complicated moral and philosophical issues.

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HIPAA Cartoon on Social Media Use

HIPAA Cartoon Social Media

Here’s a cartoon on HIPAA and social media use to jump start your week.  You can’t think enough about HIPAA these days.  HIPAA audits are back, and OCR is having a vigorous enforcement year this year, something I plan to post about soon.

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K-12 Schools Must Teach Data Privacy and Security

K-12 Schools Must Teach Data Privacy and Security

By Daniel J. Solove

It is essential that children learn about data privacy and security.  Their lives will be fully enveloped by technologies that involve data.  But far too little about these topics is currently taught in most schools. 

Fortunately, there is a solution, one that I’m proud to have been involved in creating.  The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), a nonprofit group of policy leaders, educators, and various experts, has released the Privacy K-12 Curriculum Matrix.

The Privacy K-12 Curriculum Matrix is free.  It can be used by any school, educator, or parent.  It contains an overview of the privacy issues that should be taught, including which details about each issue should be covered in various grade levels.  It includes suggestions for appropriate learning activities for each grade level.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Photos and Civil Rights Law: An Interview with Danielle Citron

Online Harm

“It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting.
The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”
Jennifer Lawrence on her nude photos being
non-consensually disclosed online

Fairly recently, Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud account was hacked and her private nude photos were stolen and posted online. She was mortified.

Her case is just one of many, according to Professor Danielle Citron (University of Maryland School of Law), who very recently published a book about online harassment, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace (Harvard University Press 2014).

Citron - Hate Crimes in Cyberspace

It is a compelling and provocative book. It is a bold book. And as the recent news stories indicate, it is a book that couldn’t be more timely and more needed. One might think that online harassment is rare. Who would write such mean and vile things? What kind of person would harass Zelda Williams, the daughter of Robin Williams, who was viciously attacked online immediately after her father’s death? Even Caligula would show more humanity.

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Follow Professor Solove on Social Media

If you are interested in privacy and data security issues, there are many great ways Professor Solove can help you stay informed:

Professor Solove’s LinkedIn Influencer blog

LinkedIn Influencer 02 You can follow Professor Solove on his blog at LinkedIn, where he is an “LinkedIn Influencer.”  He blogs about various privacy and data security issues. His blog has more than 600,000 followers.

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Professor Solove’s Twitter Feed

Twitter 01Professor Solove is active on Twitter and posts links to current privacy and data security stories and new scholarship, cases, and developments of note.

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Professor Solove’s Newsletter

Newsletter 01Sign up for our newsletter where Professor Solove provides information about his recent writings and new training programs that he has created.

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Professor Solove’s LinkedIn Discussion Groups

Please join one or more of Professor Solove’s LinkedIn discussion groups, where you can follow new developments on privacy, data security, HIPAA, and education privacy issues. You can also participate in the discussion, share interesting news and articles, ask questions, or start new conversations:

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