Contemporary Privacy Theory Contributions to Learning Analytics

Jennifer Heath, Australian Flexible Learning Network, May 09, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to the abstract, "This paper provides an overview of privacy and considers the potential contribution contemporary privacy theories can make to learning analytics." I personally consider privacy one of the key issues in learning analytics; anyone can mine a big set of data, but how do you do what when you need permission from each person before continuing? I like the 'broad overview of privacy' diagram and the nuance offered, for example, from Nissenbaum: "a right to privacy is neither a right to secrecy nor a right to control but a right to appropriate flow of personal information." Some of the issues are highlighted in two scenarios illustrating four key parameters of privacy: context, actors, attributes and transmission principles. This paper is from the inaugural issue of the Journal of Learning Analytics.

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