Cloud Computing Jeopardizes Student Privacy, Report Warns

Benjamin Herold, Sept 27, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think this report overstates the concern - you aren't exposing yourself to cyber-stalking by advertises just because you use DropBox - but I think it does point to an inherent conflict between online service provision and personal privacy. Google, for example, employs algorithms that read your email for the purpose of targeted marketing, so if a school uses Google Mail then students are certainly being targeted. A lot of 'big data' and analytics work this way - they mine what should be private data to produce proprietary knowledge. It's easy enough to say that safeguards ought to be put into place (and they will be). But how then will big data work? 

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