The Changing Nature of Privacy

I wrote in the past about observations on FERPA and student privacy here at Penn State. Already, I see too many instances where students are seeking jobs and/or internships only to be denied by their inappropriate use of social media. For the most part, I was only thinking of students.

Today, a colleague passed me an article relating to social media and divorce cases. An interesting stat from the article:

“The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81% of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites…over the last five years”

I had no doubt people were being singled out in marital cases for their use of social media, but I had no clue the percent would be this high.  In all my time as a teacher I continually stressed responsible use of social media and to constantly be vigilant and up-to-date with privacy settings.  Now, as a faculty consultant working in a teaching center, I really wonder if we should be spending more time educating faculty on the same topics, ensuring they do not have information or artifacts in publicly available social spaces that might get them, or the university, in ethical or legal dilemmas.  Does anyone know if other Teacher Centers in the US are actively educating faculty on the use of Facebook and social media in terms of managing their own identity online?

1 thought on “The Changing Nature of Privacy


    Angela passed this post onto the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) list and it led to some email responses summarized below.

    Coastal Carolina’s Center for Effective Teaching and Learning is partnering with their campus library to offer workshops for both students and faculty dealing with managing their identities online. It appears that the “Choose Privacy” week was the spark:

    Also, UC Boulder is working on a session this fall titled:
    Portraying and Monitoring Your Online Professional Presence as a University

    I’m curious how these sessions will be received and if this will be a growing trend in our centers focused on teaching excellence.

Leave a Reply