Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Privacy Laws on the Internet

The Digital Citizenship and Crowdforcing articles are both quite interesting because they reveal the potential drawbacks of sharing on the Internet. The Digital Citizenship article discusses some rules about when and how to share others’ creations and ideas. This reading teaches me the significance of informing participants about the works we share. I found this article important because it shows the adverse effects of sharing works without giving credits to participants who create them. I could see how sharing without citing sources might lead to the decreasing amount of music and film productions. When people share others’ works without having their informed consents, it may deter them from producing quality works.

I think the article makes some excellent points about publication guidelines on the Internet. A lot of social websites should inform people about these rules and ensure digital piracy does not happen. They could provide some information about publication and sharing on registration pages. Each person will need to agree to the specific terms about sharing and publishing. When they share others’ publication of videos and images, people will also agree to the terms about sharing by clicking a checkbox next to the post button. I think this change will benefit people who share interesting productions on the social websites.

Crowdforcing article also shows some issues about sharing on the Internet. It talks about how some companies might share personal information with others when they gather data from people. One example is FitBit which is a calorie-tracker company that uses people’s lifestyle information to monitor their health. When FitBit gives personal information to insurance companies, it allows insurance companies to increase their sales by analyzing dataset. The insurance companies will create personalized plans and sell individualized products to people in which they have personal information. I believe that companies have the obligation to inform people about the personal information they might share. Although most companies understand the importance of privacy laws, they could still share personal information. I think companies should create an effective system to ensure their data does not go to other companies. I enjoyed this reading because it offers important insights about how companies might share personal data.



  1. I’d like to start by saying great job!! I really like how you were able to respond to both of the readings in your post. That shows that you read the material and are competent with it.

    When you began talking about the “Digital Citizenship” article, I became drawn into your post. Your point on the adverse effects of sharing another person’s works without giving them the proper credit, is completely true. When I read through the article, that was also what intrigued me the most. Doing so, is unwelcome when it comes to the copyright laws.

    Also, I strongly agree with your point on how people should “check a box” about the specific terms on sharing, when they post something online. By doing this, we would be able to limit copyright, and the people who actually deserve credit, will get it.

    The last thing I’d like to address is your comment about the “fitbit”. I liked this topic because it directly related to the “Crowdforcing article.” Personal information is being transferred all over the internet by companies like this. I personally don’t think they should be allowed to do such things, because some people may feel exposed, or feel like their information is getting into the wrong hands.

  2. To expand on your point you touched on with FitBit and data sharing, I think many people would be shocked to see how much information companies have on everyone, even if that individual does not share much, if at all, online. Everything from our buying habits in store, buying habits online, and even our browsing habits online, places us into demographics that companies can use to market products to us they think we may be interested in, and what they want us to see. I think that this recent trend of data collection and sharing is a sort of grey area in privacy laws, especially when you consider that many do not understand how, or are not aware, they can opt out of many of these tracking programs companies frequently use.

    In my opinion, gathering data and distributing this data for the benefit of companies and their marketers is fine, as data collection is a major part of technology right now. I have even worked with a bit of data collection myself, using both Google and Facebook analytics to determine who a local business needed to target more efficiently, and who they were reaching effectively. However, I think the companies need to make sure what they are doing is clear to the people who may not be aware this is happening behind the scenes when they use a service or device.

  3. Shane-Justin Nu'uhiwa

    September 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

    The first thing that went through my mind when reading the articles is that privacy over the internet has become a real concern for most people. People have the right to post things online if they chose – if they want to have these articles reach out only to a selected audience they should be allowed so. After reading your post, when you say “sharing works without giving credits to participants who create them” I immediately think of the article and class discussion on how the digital humanities is about sharing not so much creating or building. I personally like the idea of a field where other are able to create and further develop the ideas of another. For example, you can have 10 of the same “codes” because everyone is trying to create the same thing or you can further create a “code” to better serve you. When you mention issues like crowdforcing with companies like FitBit, these are issues in which the common consumer does not have a general idea of. The consumer is egger to try his/her/ze’s new product and may not read the privacy statement to see that their information will be passed along to other people. This is where I believe that people should be give privacy; when posting online and through actions like these.

  4. So to address your statement on FitBit and sharing information. Is it necessarily a bad thing that information of yours is being shared? Yes I will agree privacy is a nice thing, however, nowhere in any legal document does it say that we as people are entitled to complete privacy. In this specific case could an insurance company not benefit from being able to not offer insurance to people they find at a health risk? In turn lowering costs for the rest of their clients.

  5. I agree with you when you talk about that companies shouldn’t share our data or information to other companies. And yes they should be more clear about privacy laws on social media especially because its very undetailed and vague.

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