Who’s Got Your Info?

The trimester has changed and with it my teaching assignment. This trimester I have 8th graders and the first thing we are tasked with learning is personal security online and the creation of a digital footprint.

Our focus in seventh grade was their actual safety and we spent a lot of time looking at what they are putting out there that might put them in harm’s way.

In 8th grade it’s different. They are unaware of what information goes leaking out about them just by being online, and just what it’s being used for. They assume that the internet is free- they don’t realize that each of us pays for it with our personal information. We talk about how ads are customized and they are a bit perplexed- how do these companies know so much about them?

Ghostery ListEnter Ghostery, a Chrome extension. Ghostery gives you information about how many sites are collecting your information from the sites you go on.

Clicking on the Ghostery icon gives you a list of sites. This one was from my blogsite.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 7.28.13 PM

A few of the sites that appeared were familiar, but I was curious about KissMetrics. A click on the More Info link provided an overview of the company, the information they collected, and what they did with it.

They needed some help deciphering some of the vocabulary. This lesson finished with a blog discussion around this question: The convenience of your digital devices comes at the cost of your privacy. Do you think it’s worth it? Why or why not?

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