Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Responding to Parsing One's Privacy @urkomasse #privacy #freesoftware @glassbeed

In response to my blog entry, Parsing One's Privacy, @urkomasse was kind enough to share the following comment. I decided that such an erudite, agreeable (although completely wrong ) piece should not smolder and fade in the comment section, so I'm "comment hoisting" and throwing it out there for discussion:
Thanks for the mention!Now, about your article... Yes, I'm going to take you to task again. 
It seems to me that the gist of it is: "I share pretty much anything that I do on my iPad, so obviously all my students and all the teachers will do the same." 
Up until this very day, I hadn't seen anyone making this distinction between public vs. private devices, and then taking the next step of acceptance: "and that's fine by me."It's like saying that most thieves out there are able to unlock your door anyway, so why bother locking it at all? 

Is that too big of a step in my reasoning? We probably disagree in that subjective appreciation :) 
Your article goes on the assumption that to be able to "read rabble-rousing articles" you forcefully need to choose the iPad. It would be easy to read between your lines that this is the only touch-based platform that enables this activity. And really, that's a gross oversimplification: it's more about what you create, what you type, who you email, who you chat with, who emails you. We all know that it's all too easy to configure all your personal accounts on these devices, and so your personal information, what would be comparable to what you do in the toilet, will also be on your iPad. 
With Android, content creation, reading rabble-rousing articles, sharing and collaborating is just as possible. Indeed, the same lists of "Apps for Bloom's Taxonomy" exist for Android as well. 
And you get to do all that, while educating students in the use of a platform where you CAN - should you choose to - preserve your privacy with great effectiveness. There is nothing to give up, and a lot to gain: the empowerment of our students, getting to acquire knowledge with an expert at hand (that would be you) in an environment that does not prevent them in the future from being in full control of their digital footprint.
And it's cheaper to boot!! :) 
I won't go into your subjective judgement of Android as "buggy". It has no technical foot to stand on, but it would make my comment quite a bit longer with irrelevant details to the core debate.
Just because nobody else thinks about these details of the platform selection, it is precisely up to us with the IT knowledge needed to take them into account in the choices we made for our students. I don't feel comfortable giving up on that duty.
Since Clarence Fisher (@glassbeed) also has some insights into this topic, I'm tagging him to share his thoughts. The essential question may be, at what point does one's personal beliefs about privacy/security intrude into one's public work?

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