Have you ever wondered how much personal information Facebook and Google keep about you? A reporter for The Guardian researched how to do this, and has made a step-by-step guide called "How to download your data from Google and Facebook." Why not give it a try and think carefully about the results you get? Should you adjust any of your settings (or your activities) as a result?
The reporter, James Ball, experiments by reviewing his personal data kept by Facebook and Google. Ball concludes, "The tour through a decent swath of my personal data is at once disturbing and comforting ... Among the huge tranche of information available to Google and Facebook alone is virtually everyone I know, a huge amount of what I've said to -- and about -- them and a vast amount of data on where I've been." See "Me and my data: How much do the Internet giants really know?"
Browse through your social networking site profiles and delete any information that you now realize goes too far.
Remove your home address (list just your city, if anything); your birthdate (if you can't live without your "friends" wishing you well on the actual day, at least take out the year); and undo any indications of which "friends" are your actual family members.
On Facebook, keep in mind that older posts that once seemed fine may no long fit your professional identity. Your oldest posts and photos and posts in which other users feature you may still be visible and searchable if you haven't set your privacy settings to hide them.
This guide from CNET walks you through the process of checking and setting your privacy settings on Facebook.
Instructors at IU are faced with a multitude of tools (e.g. collaborative workspaces, chat rooms, blogs, wikis, and podcast/video sites) that offer new potential for engaging students in learning. When such tools are provided by IU, instructors can be confident that relevant policy issues have been addressed as part of the implementation. However, there could be a number of privacy concerns when an instructor chooses to use a non-IU online tool in instruction.
Three Major Risks to Consider:
Risks exist when university information is stored in tools or cloud services not provided or contracted by IU. Most instructional situations face three major risks.
- Critical Information: Information classified as "critical" may not be stored in any third-party tool without the university entering into a contract with the vendor.*
- FERPA: Student records protected by FERPA may not be stored in any third-party tool without the university entering into a contract with the vendor.*
- Intellectual Property: Ensure that any and all content owners grant permission and express appropriate intent before any intellectual property is given away.*
The Chief Privacy Officer, University Counsel, and Teaching and Learning Center staff created the following guidance for instructors:
Use of Social Networks, Blogs, Wikis, and Other Third-Party Hosted Tools in Instruction
A shorter version of this guidance, generalized for a non-IU audience, is published here:
Lavagnino, M.B. (2010). Policy as an Enabler of Student Engagement. EDUCAUSE Review, 45, no.5: 104-105.
An online presentation via Adobe Connect by Beth Cate formerly of the Office of the VP and General Counsel, Merri Beth Lavagnino, Chief Risk Officer at IU and former Chief Privacy Officer and Compliance Coordinator, and Margaret Ricci - Instructional Consultant in the IU Bloomington Teaching and Learning Technology Center, is located here:
Instructional Use of Social Media
More resources on Cloud Computing in general, and other uses of such tools, are located here: