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Summaries of Chapters 1, 2, and 3: Helen Nissenbaum “Privacy In Context”

Chapter 1: “Keeping Track and Watching over Us”   -Advances in digital media have created a dramatic rise in technically mediated monitoring. -There is also a marked shift in the nature of such technology-mediated monitoring and tracking—automated, undiscriminating, and accommodating new subjects, monitors, and motives. -‘Monitoring’ and ‘tracking’ are used rather than ‘surveillance’. Nissenbaum seeks … Continue reading

Authenticating the Facebook Self: Privacy, Participation, and Radical Transparency

In “Privacy ‘You have one identity,’” a chapter from David Kirkpatrick’s The Facebook Effect, issues of privacy in the public domain are addressed. The centrality of Facebook as a social artefact, positions it as the main object of inquiry for Kirkpatrick’s discussion. The chapter opens with the question: “How much of ourselves should we show … Continue reading

Response: Sex Blogging and Women’s Reclamation of the Water Cooler

In Daniel Solove’s The Future of Reputation, Jessica Cutler is positioned as an ignorant internet user who creates a blog intended only for her friends, detailing her sex life. Jessica reasons that when men bragged about having sex with her at the office it was considered mere “writing on the bathroom wall” (54) so really, … Continue reading

Summary: Google Street View, Germany, and privacy issues

After a series of incidents and lawsuits, Google Street View abandoned the streets of Germany in April, 2011. Although they were not enforced to leave the country, the company decided not to expand the pictures that were already taken voluntarily. Even before the service being launched in Germany, Google Street View gathered a large number … Continue reading

Response: Sex scandals as cautionary tales for bloggers

In his chapter, “Gossip and the Virtues of Knowing Less,” Daniel Solove addresses the problem of gossip blogging in the quick-and-easy information sharing age of the internet. Before the internet, the consequences of gossip were, if still potentially devastating, at least limited to certain social groups or geographical locations. The victim of harmful gossip has … Continue reading

Summary: Google’s Privacy Policy – What it Really Means

Gmail’s privacy policy is one of the shortest I’ve ever read, and is broken up into nice headings with concise paragraphs and bullet points. Full disclosure is their big thing – they want their users to be totally aware of what is going on. They want you to trust them with your information, while perpetuating … Continue reading

Response: “I heard it through the grapewire” – gossip and privacy online

Solove’s chapter reminds of the effects some blogs believed to be “a needle in the electronic haystack of cyberspace” can have on people after they are read by people for whom they were not intended (51). After pointing out how wrongful the assumption that only “friends and family” will read our posts is, Solove talks … Continue reading

Resource: Literary vs. Rhetorical Genre

Works Cited  

Summary: Gibson’s “The Theory of Affordances”

James J. Gibson analyzes the manner in which “the ‘values’ or ‘meanings’ of things in the environment could be directly perceived” (67). He draws from nature and the environment to postulate his theory of affordances, which is defined as “a specific combination of the properties of its substance and its surfaces taken with reference to … Continue reading

Summary: Ian Hutchby’s “Technology, Texts and Affordances”

In “Technologies, Texts and Affordances”, Ian Hutchby proposes a middle ground between realism, “the view that worldly objects have inherent properties that act as constraints on observational accounts” and contructivism, “the view that the very ‘reality’ of objects is itself an outcome of discursive practices in relation to the object” (Hutchby 443). By introducing the … Continue reading