Digitally Literate #197

enter image description here

The privacy paradox
Digitally Lit #197 – 5/11/2019

Hi all, my name is Ian O’Byrne and welcome to Digitally Literate. In this newsletter, I try to synthesize what happened this week so you can be digitally literate as well.

I posted a couple of things this week:


How to remember your life (16:06)

Johnny Harris on how to use your camera to use your phone, take pictures, and organize them to connect to your longterm memory.

Harris suggests…the key to remembering your life is deleting photos. This is a great assignment for use in high school and higher ed.


Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge

Morgan Marieta and David C. Barker, authors of the Inconvenient Facts blog on Psychology Today, share some insight from the research presented in their text, One Nation, Two Realities.

Values not only shape what people see, but they also structure what people look for in the first place. We call this intuitive epistemology.
Those who care about oppression look for oppression — so they find it.
Those who care about security look for threats to it — and they find them.
In other words, people do not end up with the same answers because they do not begin with the same questions.

Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good

This week Google held their annual conference for developers. You can watch the keynote here. I did…and I love this event every year.

This year we’re seeing tech companies try to reshape the narrative around privacy and our digital tools. Many of these companies are trying to redefine privacy for us. They’re trying to redefine privacy from “we don’t take your data” to “we don’t give it to anyone else.” There is a big difference between the two.

In multiple times in the Google I/O keynote, they mentioned that “the future is private” and that privacy is for everyone. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai puts a finer point on this in the op-ed linked above, as he also highlighted the need for legislation around privacy.

Mark Zuckerberg delivered a similar message at Facebook’s developer conference. “The future is private,” he said, and indicated Facebook will focus on more intimate communications. He shared these messages in a Washington Post op-ed just weeks before.

This transparency is good, but we need to question how transparent all of these companies are with our data. The takeaway is that they’re still collecting your data. They’re still using it to teach machine learning engines. Some will sell (or hand off) your data to others. Data breaches and hacks will happen. Business will continue as they seek to redefine privacy in an attempt to pacify user concern and angst on the topic.

The privacy paradox: why do people keep using tech firms that abuse their data?

As discussed in the earlier story, tech companies are trying to redefine privacy in our use of these digital texts and tools.

The question ultimately becomes…why do we continue to use and trust these companies?

John Naughton examines this problem through the lens of the “privacy paradox” as detailed by Nina Gerber, Paul Gerber, and Melanie Volkamer in Computers & Security. You can read more about the “privacy calculus” that we all employ as we consider our privacy, and willingness to disclose.

Teachers: Our most daring leaders

I really enjoy all of the work Brené Brown shares. She’s now on Netflix, and her blog is a great resource. I’d start with Daring Greatly if you haven’t encountered her before.

This post is adapted from Dare to Lead, and it shares support for educators as we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day here in the U.S.

A manifesto for being a part of strategic pedagogical change

Peter Bryant with a great post on how to incorporate real pedagogical change in your classroom.

His manifesto is as follows:

  1. Have a plan
  2. Reward and recognize excellence and achievement
  3. Be in the conversation
  4. Connection is the glue
  5. We don’t know what the students want – but we need to
  6. Expose yourself to risk
  7. Be rigorous, evidenced-based, and critically reflective
  8. Enhance, don’t replace
  9. The future happens

Google Calendar helps with fitness goals by logging workouts

My Wife and I have started to track more of our food consumption as we want to track down health and wellness as it is impacted by the foods we eat. This post from Engadget shares how to use the Goals function in Google Calendar to keep track of workouts, food, maladies, etc.

enter image description here

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

Coco Chanel

digilit banner

I watched the video of the new Tool song on YouTube as I finalized this issue.

Digitally Literate is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, & literacy. Follow along here.

Say hey with a note at or on the social network of your choice.


  1. Aaron Davis
    May 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Ian, I love your response to calls for privacy from Zuckerberg and Pichai. For me this feels like both a distraction and a way of avoiding liability. It is interesting to this about this while reading Ruined by Design:

    Cooperation and regret is noted, but it doesn’t excuse the conduct. At some point in their lives, the people who helped Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Travis Kalanick execute their schemes may regret what they’ve done, they may even cooperate in undoing it. But, like the judge said—it won’t excuse the conduct.

    • wiobyrne
      May 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      Hey Aaron, thanks for the note.

      I agree with your take on this. I think the companies are trying to walk back their thinking/narrative around privacy, data, and identity.

      At first it was…we don’t take, or sell your data. The implicit element of that was that they were also indicating that…”hey, you freely give this to us…we can do what we want with it.”

Leave A Comment