Of my original six Web resources, the first three still number among my strongest research sites (and are listed below, as numbers 3, 4 and 5), while the
latter three are not as conducive to more extensive research on the topic (although they provide useful articles and overviews).
Through more in-depth searching and visiting links on a variety of privacy and consumer Web sites, including the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and Consumer Reports' Web Watch privacy resources, I identified two more information sources of superior quality.
Another site, The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, unfortunately offered little for my topic, but proved itself an excellent resource for cutting-edge Internet issues. One
relevant element located here is a Powerpoint presentation by Lauren Gelman, Associate Director of Stanford Law School's Center
for Internet and Society (CIS), entitled "Web 2.0 Expo: User Generated Content and Privacy."
The CDT's Guide to Online Privacy
Source: The Center for Democracy & Technology. The CDT receives no government funding, instead funded by a combination of individual, foundation, corporate, international
institutions and trade associations. According to the CDT's Mission & Principles page, "The Center for Democracy and Technology
(CDT) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public policy organization dedicated to promoting the democratic potential of today's open,
decentralized global Internet."
Brief Description: This page guides users through a thorough overview of privacy issues on the Internet and links to
Getting Started, Privacy Basics, Protections & Initiatives, Debates & Trials, References and Glossary (as well as the CDT
Home Page). The links provide information and resources starting from the basics of privacy issues and moving through legal,
international and industry issues. Of particular use, the introduction "Getting Started" page provides a link to enlightening
survey and statistical Internet privacy information. The information is educational and shows no signs of obvious bias towards
any particular group, although it unabashedly advocates free expression on the Internet.
2. Title: Imagined Communities: Awareness, Information Sharing, and Privacy on the Facebook
Source: Privacy Enhancing Technologies, 6th International Workshop, PET 2006, Cambridge, UK, June 28-30, 2006,
from the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series
Brief Description: After exhausting the typical online searches, I utilized a search of the deep, or hidden, Web through
the UNC Libraries Electronic Journals portal. This chapter (linked to the PDF above), presents an academic research paper
on social networks and the participation and attitudes, including privacy, by members of such groups. Despite a focus on Facebook,
the findings apply to other social networks and really addresses the nature of my project—The Unexpected, Unintended
Consequences of Participating in the World Wide Web—in section 4.2 "Privacy Attitudes." The research takes on even greater
significance when one considers that MySpace is more widespread and its content more accessible than Facebook.
3. Title:Electronic Privacy Information Center Social Networking Privacy
Source: Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Established in 1994, this public interest research center researches
and publishes information about privacy, free speech, open government and other civil liberties topics.
Brief Description: The referenced page provides background, news and resources concerning privacy issues about online
social networking sites. EPIC also offers a page dedicated to privacy topics and an online guide to privacy resources. In addition, the EPIC homepage, http://www.epic.org, features a wealth of current information about cyber privacy news and issues.
4. Title: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): Privacy
Source: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): "Defending Freedom in the Digital World," is a donor-funded nonprofit
confronting cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights.
Brief Description: This page discusses privacy issues related to new and emerging technologies and provides links to
specific topics of concern including: government search and surveillance powers, data mining and dataveillance, data collection
and retention, anonymity online and privacy-intrusive technologies. Of particular interest is this EFF page about America
Online's breach of users' privacy through releasing its Web search queries with personally identifying information: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/AOL. The EFF also offers a useful "Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy" at http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-privacy.php.
5. Title: National Cyber Security Alliance Reports/Cyber SecuritY Library
Source: National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a public-private partnership not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provided
cyber security awareness, education, tools and resources.
Brief Description: This part of the site offers enlightening reports—including consumer opinions and information
about online security threats. Its Social Networking Report (http://staysafeonline.org/features/SocialNetworkingReport.ppt) illuminates the threats social networking sites pose to adult users in terms of cyber crime, identity theft and loss of
privacy. NCSA also offers its "Top Eight Cyber Security Tips" at http://staysafeonline.org/practices/index.html.
In addition, pogowasright.org offers terrific resources for Internet privacy issues. Two particularly helpful links on this site include:
Furthermore, I include two June 2006 articles to fuel even more Web 2.0 privacy paranoia:
- A list of privacy sites and information links and
- A hotlinked calendar of privacy workshops, seminars, lectures and other events.
- A bit-tech.net column by Wil Harriss entitled "Why Web 2.0 will end your privacy," discusses the open-information architecture of social networking sites and predicts a business takeover/appropriation of
- A Paul Marks' article, published in the online version of the 50-year-old New Scientist magazine and entitled
"Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites", provides a fascinating look at how the US National Security Agency's Disruptive Technology Office (formerly Advanced Research
Development Activity or ARDA) seeks to harvest and harness the powerful content users publicly post about themselves on social
networks. The plan, according to the article, would enable the DTO to build super profiles of citizens.