Week 15 discussion

I realized there wasn’t a discussion thread for Nasma’s lecture yet, so I’m creating one…

how are young people uniquely affected by the loss of privacy?
what about the idea that young people don’t care about their privacy?
what did you learn about engaging youth in privacy discussions and workshops?
and, bonus
if you don’t work with youth, how might you apply Nasma’s approach to other groups or threat models?

also, I’ve asked Nasma if she can share her slides, workshop outline, or other curriculum with us. I’m waiting to hear back.

I had a question that came up during the lecture that I feel a little silly about as I really should probably know the answer to this by now, but when you have a VPN app enabled on a mobile device, does it just mask the web browsing within the app or does it mask the internet activity of all of the apps on the device?

it’s not a silly question @clobdell. VPNs mask ALL your internet traffic, making it look like your IP address is one that belongs to the VPN company. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel that all of your traffic goes through, but the VPN company knows who you really are and what you’re really doing.


I really liked the way Nasma designed her workshops for youth. She mentioned starting with a discussion to find out what was most important to teens and to determine their threat models. I was thinking that much of her approach could be applied to adults. I’ve been trying to design a training for public library patrons and realized that folks aren’t going to show up to a training (based on past experience throughout our branches) unless it’s engaging, interactive and fun. I wouldn’t show up to one of these trainings unless it met those criteria! I like the idea of starting with pizza and a history of the internet in storytelling format, then going over safety tips to find out what people are currently doing, what their threat models are then building a digital security 101 session based on what came up in the discussion. This format also echoes much of what Mallory discussed as well. Nasma gave me some great ideas for designing adult trainings.


I noted something similar - Nasma’s approach that people are the experts of their own lives. I also appreciated the idea that people know what they want for privacy but just may be able to use some technical help or ideas about how to get there.

I found the predictive analysis article from the readings really interesting. There is this split in how data is used: one, to identify specific students (or types of students, but eventually individuals) who might have trouble, and two, to identify the common situations in which students tend to have trouble. The latter is so much less invasive - the article uses the example of changing add/drop dates when the school found that students who added classes very late tended not to do well. So this is an example of changing a policy based on data, rather than targeting (or, really, profiling) individual students. I have much less objection to this use, though it will involve some of the same data. It’s more the individual profiling than the general data analysis that I find problematic, and it’s frustrating that they are sometimes conflated.

Also I was really glad to hear that she finds that many young people do care about privacy. I can’t find it but recently read something about how Amazon’s recent product release (Alexa everything) hardly mentioned privacy concerns at all, and that maybe that reflected consumers’ lack of concern - so hearing Nasma gave me hope. Obviously there are lots of us who do care about privacy, but it’s good to hear that kids these days do too.

1 Like

My experience tells me that young people have a pretty natural aptitude for threat modeling. And this is true even if they tend to be fairly open with their data on social media or whatever. Because as soon as you say, well, do you want your principal to see this, do you want your parents to see this, then they completely understand why privacy is important. It’s just a matter of getting them to change behaviors or adopt new practices, which is challenging for all age groups!