Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things I've learned from grading students' papers

  • Viewing someone's public Facebook profile without their written permission is a violation of their privacy. (At least if it's a University doing the looking.)
  • Posting something on Facebook (such as bragging about breaking a University's rules) is the same as confessing in a courtroom and is absolutely dispositive.
  • Corporations have good reasons for gathering information on their customers, it's for the customer's own good, and the fact that it may conceivably have a theoretical misuse is irrelevant, because they've said they won't misuse it, so they won't.
  • Copyright doesn't apply to the performance of a play if it's performed outdoors.
  • Bragging about breaking a University's rules can't be used against the student if the rulebreaking or cheating takes place off-campus.
  • You can copy a copyrighted work, as long as the amount copied is less than 100%.
  • Once a company has your data, they can use it for any purpose whatever, regardless of why it was originally collected. This is legal, so by definition it is ethical and there is no rational basis for objecting.
This is why it's so hard to go to work some mornings....

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