What Role Does Student Permission Play in Making Their Own Work Public?
A presentation for UConn First-Year Writing's 11th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing
Agre, Phil, & Rotenber, Marc, eds. Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape. MIT Press, 1997.
From Phil Agre:
". . . control over personal information is control over an aspect of the identity one projects to the world, and the right to privacy is the freedom from unreasonable constraints on the construction of one's own identity" (7).
Watters, Audry, "Student Data, Privacy, Ideology, and Context-less-ness," Hack Education. 31 July 2014. http://hackeducation.com/2014/07/31/privacy-data-ideology-identity-context
In her book Privacy in Context, Nissenbaum offers a different frame:
“What people care most about is not simply restricting the flow of information but ensuring that it flows appropriately, and an account of appropriate flow is given here through the framework of contextual integrity.”
Privacy, she argues, is the right to the appropriate flow of information, and we should debate the appropriateness of the creation, collection, and consumption of data based on the context of each. We can debate this, ideally, through transparent, democratic processes, recognizing that we have to work through the knotty challenges of protecting public and individual needs. That is, with integrity.
Nissenbaum, Helen. Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford University Press, 2009.
A central tenet of contextual integrity is that there are no arenas of life not governed by norms of information flow , no information or spheres of life for which “anything goes.” Almost everything—things that we do, events that occur, transactions that take place—happens in a context not only of place but of politics, convention, and cultural expectation. These contexts can be as sweepingly defined as, say, spheres of life such as education, politics, and the marketplace or as finely drawn as the conventional routines of visiting the dentist, attending a family wedding, or interviewing for a job. For some purposes, broad sweeps are sufficient. As mentioned before, public and private define a dichotomy of spheres that have proven useful in legal and political inquiry. Robust intuitions about privacy norms, however, seem to be rooted in the details of rather more limited contexts, spheres, or stereotypic situations.
Observing the texture of people’s lives, we find them not only crossing dichotomies, but moving about, into, and out of a plurality of distinct realms. They are at home with families, they go to work, they seek medical care, visit friends, consult with psychiatrists, talk with lawyers, go to the bank, attend religious services, vote, shop, and more. Each of these spheres, realms, or contexts involves, indeed may even be defined by, a distinct set of norms, which governs its various aspects such as roles, expectations, actions, and practices. For certain contexts, such as the highly ritualized settings of many church services, these norms are explicit and quite specific. For others, the norms may be implicit, variable, and incomplete (or partial). There is no need here to construct a theory of these contexts. It is enough for our purposes that the social phenomenon of distinct types of contexts, domains, spheres, institutions, or fields is firmly rooted in common experience . . .
Carbone, Nick; Lowe, Charlie; Jerz, Dennis; and Williams, Terra. Review Discussion for "Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom." Into the Blogosphere. 2004. http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/172819/Comments14.pdf
Nick, I'm curious about your reasons for thinking that required public writing should be an elective only? Is is an ethcial issue? After all, there are other course tracks in many universities where students are required as part of their degree work to do things outside of the safety of the classroom. K-12 student teaching and engineering internships are two that come to mind. Posted by: charlie at July 3, 2004 11:22 PM 3
I can't speak for Nick, but the cases that come to my mind revolve around the confessional, personal stories that one often finds in a freshman comp course. I can also imagine problems from some students who have restraining orders against individuals to whom they'd rather not publicize their whereabouts. I personally try to address this by showing students multiple examples of times somebody blogged (or uploaded e-mailed or IMed) something they later regretted. Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at July 4, 2004 04:45 PM
Isaacs, Emily & Jackson, Phoebe, eds. Public Works: Student Writing as Public Text. Heinemann. 2001
"[t]here has not been enough attention to the ethics of assuming that students will necessarily benefit from such practice; there has been little discussion about the problems teachers face trying to institute such a practice; and finally, sometimes these practices have unintended, even negative, effects on students and their writing or the audience for whom they are writing." (Introduction)
For a useful review of Public Works, see http://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=ias_pub