Public Privacy

The internet: A public place to get a lot of stuff for free.
That’s what I used to think.  Who would know? Who cares? Why should I care?

Some rights reserved by DonkeyHotey

People have been taking other peoples information that isn’t theirs for years.  It really isn’t a new thing.  Then came along google search and all of a sudden we can steal a multitude of things without repercussions – or so we think? Even if there aren’t repercussions – does that make it right? Of course not.  What do we do when we want the answer to a question? Almost 100% of the time I turn to google and find the answer.  If I need a picture, I turn to google and take it.  It doesn’t cost me any money, it doesn’t take much time and it is extremely convenient. After all, if you put it up on the internet you should be ready for someone to take it.  Well, yes and no.  Yes, the internet is public and as we are aware that just about anyone  can access it.  We can right click photos, take snapshots etc…Does that mean I want my pictures put on various websites or my information “stolen” and used for someone elses benefit? No.  So, these discussions are so important for us and for the learners we are entrusted with.  They are also growing up in this digital age where the lines of privacy are extremely blurred.

Most people who share their photos on flikr or their status updates on twitter realize that many people can see them.  I think what people don’t realize is the access that many people have to the things we think are “private”.  We use the internet as regularly as we do many other every day tools.  The professional and the personal get melded into one confusing and hazy cloud.  We check our facebook at work (woops did I say that?), we work on our professional blogs at home, we share work ideas on facebook and our personal photos with our twitter PLN.  These things seem harmless – but are they?   After reading Husna Najand’s article on being aware of the lack of privacy we have on our information and media that is on the internet, it begs the question of what can we do?

Some rights reserved by rpongsaj

This weekend I stumbled upon The Internet Grandad, an 81 year old vlogger who was made famous by the media because of his age and his gentle way of sharing knowledge, advice and stories.  I love watching his videos as he pioneers the use of technology for the elderly.  I found him through a post on google plus where he shares how he was searching for something and stumbled upon a picture of himself that was used by someone else. He was not asked permission for use of his photograph which is basically a snapshot of a youtube video he has uploaded.  He says, “Do we not have any rights about who can publish our images?”.  Well, we do have rights and we can protect ourselves using difference licenses such as a creative commons license. We can protect ourselves and teach the same to our students. We can take better care of what we put on the internet.

The internet: A public place where we need to protect ourselves.

2 thoughts on “Public Privacy

  • Thanks for posting the link to “The Internet Grandad”. I love the fact that somebody is a truly life-long learner. Just a couple of month ago my dad got an iPad and he is so fascinated by it. He did create things on the computer but who knows I might get him to share (and license) his work as well.

    • Hey Verena,
      Thanks for the comment – I need to get on my blog more and respond. What a great idea for your dad! I would never have dreamed of licensing my stuff until this course – but it all surely does make you think, doesn’t it?

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