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UQx: META101x Philosophy and Critical Thinking

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Day 1: Nothing to hide slides:


Day 2: Liars and Outliers slides:


Day 3: Liars and Outliers slides:


Task 1

Search and select three (3) documents (web pages, articles, videos, …) of the topic of your course (Data & Privacy in Critical thinking and Sustainability in Green IT course) and explain why those documents are relevant for the course.

1: Lomas, N. 8.2.2015. Today In Creepy Privacy Policies, Samsung’s Eavesdropping TV. TechCrunch. [Online] Available:

  • With techonology constantly evolving we have to consider privacy issues which come from new features. This article revolves around the new features in televisions and voice control. There are concerns whether the private information and private spoken information leaking to third parties. Samsung itself is warning users to not speak sensitive information in front of a TV with certain features turned on.

2: Wilson, M. Sep. 2015. Accepting Microsoft's Windows 10 privacy stance at face value is sheer folly. Betanews. [Online] Available:

  • In this article writer questions Microsoft's decision to not let home users to completely disable telemetry in Windows 10, while giving Enterprise customers ability to do so. Why should home users be treated differently in terms of privacy and data collection.

3: Lomas, N. 22.02.2105. Metadata retention: 'Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear', says Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Tim Morris. Digital Life, The Sydney Morning Herald. [Online] Available:

  • This article talks about using metadata for counter-terrorism and how people with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. Yet this means privacy is highly at risk here.

Task 2

Find out information gathered of you in one physical and one digital service. What is collected, how it is used, who is using that etc. Deadline 2nd discussions.

Physical service: K-Plussa bonus card

  • What data is possessed:
    • Basic information about card owner: customer number, customer type, date of relationship start, surname, first names, home address, phone number, email address, date of birth / personal id, gender, language
    • Card information: card number, period of validity, date of card application, card type, card numbers of expired or lost cards
  • What is gathered:
    • Information related to card use: purchases made involving use of card, product groups, place of purchase, receipt number, means of payment, date and time of purchase, discounts granted
    • K-Plussa system information: number of points accumulated by customer each month, number of vouchers and their serial numbers sent to customer, dates and places of voucher use, requests for voucher values to be transferred to bank account
    • Information related to customer relationship: recordings of customer service calls and information on marketing and customer service activities
    • Record of clubs related to K-Plussa: Napero-kerho (includes dates of birth of members children), Musta Pörssi, identification details for users who register on K-Pluss website, information regarding means of payment connected to card holders, K-Plussa points donation to charity policy, records based on statistical classifications related to the customer relatonship, whether person has become K-Plussa developer, any sponsorship targets selected for the household
  • How is information used:
    • For managing customer relationships under K-Plussa program
    • Contacting customers
    • Marketing
  • Who is using information:
    • Data on card holders purchasing patterns (group and product level) is used by companies belonging to the K-Plussa programme for direct marketing purposes (unless card holder has prevented this)
    • Card holder information may be used to update customer data files of companies belonging to K-Plussa system (if customer has given consent to this)


Digital service: Twitter

  • What data is possessed:
    • Basic account information: name, username, password, email, phone number,
    • Additional information: biography, location, website, date of birth, picture, address book contacts, information from connected services
  • What is gathered:
    • Public information: tweets, metadata (date and client data), language and timezone, created lists, people you follow, liked tweets, retweeted tweets
    • “Many other bits of information that result from your use of the Twitter Services”
    • Location information: GPS, wireless networks or cell towers near mobile device, IP address.
    • Links interaction (links are redirected through shortener): click statistics
    • Cookies: website usage data (Do Not Track option is honored)
    • Log Data: IP address, browser type, OS, referrals, pages visited, location, mobile carrier, device information, search terms, cookie information.
    • Commerce Services (payment information): credit card number, expiration date, cvv code(not stored), billing address, shipping address, information gathered by purchases made through Twitter services (merchant name, date, time, amount of transaction)
  • How is information used:
    • To make inferences: what topics may be interesting to you, customizing content that is showed, customizing ads.
    • To provide and improve services: local trends, stories, ads and suggestions for people to follow.
  • Who is using information:
    • Public user profile information and public tweets are immediately delivered via SMS and APIs to partners and third parties
    • Search engines, developers and publishers that integrate Twitter content into their services
    • Institutions such as universities and public health agencies that analyze information for trends and insights.


Task 3

Society vs. individual. Select one community/society/group where you belong and reflect the societal pressures from society and individual perspectives. Point here is to analyze you perception of these pressures to both directions.

Group: Group for course Social Sustainability

I chose our group which we got in a course Social Sustainability, where we have to do case report study in groups of 4-5 people. Groups were formed through moodle, before course started and people in our group did not know eachother.

Societal pressures in our group come mostly from the institutional pressures. This is because we did not know eachother before our group was formed and have very little interaction apart from this task that was given to us, therefore we don't have as strong reputational or moral pressures driving us to do work together or performing better than we have to to pass the course.

On the other hand certain institutional pressures were put on us as a group (by our group) when we got together to write and discuss case exercise plan. We divided our task between members of the group and wrote a plan which states who is responsible for which part of the task. So in case someone won't do their work or does it poorly, the lecturer can see who was responsible for that part.

Task 4

Create 4 exam questions representing the course contents. Explain why the question is good.

Question 1: If there is nothing to hide, can you still hide it and why should you care? (Answer in the context of privacy and nothing-to-hide argument)

Question should force answerer to reflect on what has he learned by reading about nothing-to-hide argument. Answers to this question might differ hugely from person to person, but generally answer should include reasons to care about privacy, and dangers of information gathering and use.

Question 2: What is exclusionary rule, why does it exist and what problems it has? Should it stay?

This question is pretty straightforward, but important. Answerer has to know about exclusionary rule and list some reasons for why it's in use, while also listing some problems that it causes (like letting criminals go unpunished). Second part of the question is simply to see whether the answerer is against this rule or not, which gives context for the first part of the question.

Question 3: Why do we have societal pressures? What do they have to do with trust?

Question is good because it requires the answerer to know why do we have societal pressures in the first place. Furthermore to answer this question answerer has to understand what are societal pressures to begin with. Reader should also understand the importance of trust and how it has been major driver for coming up with institutional pressures and security systems.

Question 4: What types of societal pressures can be identified in our modern day society and how has the growing use of internet and social media affect these?

Question requires knowledge about types of pressures and how are they perceived in our current society. The part about internet and social media should force answerer to think how internet has changed the way societal pressures have been affected as the amount of people we interact with has grown substantially.