Computer Science 105: Privacy and Technology | waldo | July 22, 2014


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Computer Science 105: Privacy and Technology

by waldo Show/Hide

Course Requirements

Each two-week unit in the course will comprise three classroom sessions, one of which may be a speaker from industry or academia with particular expertise in the area under consideration. The classroom sessions will be a combination of lecture and discussion; much of the grade will depend on class participation. In support of each unit, each student will be asked to read a number of papers on the topic of the unit, write a short position paper (2-3 pages) responding to a couple of open-ended questions, and prepare for and participate in the discussion sections. In the final session of each two-week study, students will work together with a handful of classmates to produce a briefing document or position paper proposing several specific action items addressing the one problematic aspect of the unit's topic. Students should be prepared to work together under a short deadline to produce the collaborative project following each unit. These group assignments will be given Thursday afternoon and will be due Sunday night, so students should expect to spend a considerable part of the intervening time working on the project.

For some of the case studies, we will offer hands-on labs either before the group assignment is given or outside of regular class hours to allow students to get hands-on experience with the technologies being studied. The labs taught outside of regular class hours will be optional (but highly recommended).

The final project will allow students, working alone or in pairs, to explore an aspect of the topic of this course in greater detail. Every project should require research into an idea or issue beyond that directly discussed during the semester, clearly implementing skills learned from the class. The primary output of your research may be a position paper, experimental analysis, or engineering prototype, as well as a presentation during reading period.

Late assignments will not be accepted; attendance at all course meetings will be expected.

There will not be any examinations given in this course.


Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course topic, students will be expected to work with each other and learn from each others' perspectives and backgrounds. Individual papers should be written by and worked on individually, but everything else in the class is designed to encourage group discussion, interaction, and participation.


  • 20% Class participation
  • 20% Personal writings
  • 20% Group writings
  • 40% Final project/paper

Textbooks and Other Readings

There is no required text for this course. All reading material will be distributed in class or will be available on the Internet. This material will be supplemented with technical, academic, and popular-press readings from the Internet. Outside speakers will also be invited to shed light (or generate heat) on some of the topics.


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  1. 1 Show/Hide More Weeks 1-2: Privacy Concepts
    Original Creator: waldo
    Theories of privacy: legal, theoretical, social science
    1. 1.1 Show/Hide More Reading Assignment 1
      Original Creator: waldo
      1. 1.1.4 Show/Hide More Philosophy & Public Affairs: The Right of Privacy
        (Recommended) J.J. Thomsons classic analysis of the right to privacy
    2. 1.2 Show/Hide More Reading Assignment 2
      Original Creator: waldo

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October 12, 2016

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