Blog Profile / funnymonkey

Filed Under:Education / Learning
Posts on Regator:171
Posts / Week:0.4
Archived Since:March 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

BuzzFeed and Methods for Tracking the Trackers; or This Is Hard, Chapter 9674

For the last several months, Kris Shaffer and I have been working together on tracking news sites, partisan sites, and hate sites, and their relative popularity on social media. We have also been looking at the advertising and tracking technology used on these sites in an effort to understand how these sites generate revenue. Show More Summary

ISPs Can Continue to Collect and Sell All of Our Browsing History, and We'll Never Know

Yesterday, on March 28, 2017, Congressional Republicans gave a huge gift to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by killing rules that would have prevented them from selling our browsing history. Because Congressional Republicans killed...Show More Summary

Adtech and Misinformation: the Middlemen Who Sell to All Sides

When we look at adtech, much of the focus falls on either of these two places: the advertisers who sell specific products via online advertising, or the data brokers who package and sell our information. And this is good - data brokers in particular pose a unique threat, and need much more attention. Show More Summary

Google, Lawsuits, and the Importance of Good Documentation

This week, the Mississippi Attorney General sued Google, claiming that Google is mining student data. In this post, I'll share some general, personal thoughts, and some recommendations for Google. To start, it's worth watching a statement...Show More Summary

Why I Signed

Yesterday, December 14th, was an interesting day in technology. Evernote announced an update to their terms of service that appears to allow selected employees to read notes stored in their system, with no opt-out, in the interest of improving machine learning. Show More Summary

Facebook, Voter Suppression, and AdTech

This piece over on Medium ties together several news stories that have been written about the Trump campaign's use of Dark Posts on Facebook to supress the vote among Clinton voters. There are some great details in the post, and you should read it in full. Show More Summary

Data Clean Up - No Time Like the Present

I can't think of a better time than the present for schools to clean up some of their existing demographic data collected on students. Ideally, demographic data can be used to ensure that students and schools get resources they need,...Show More Summary

How Do We Support Each Other As We Do The Work?

Donald Trump and Mike Pence won the election last night. This raises a whole slew of questions, but I'll start here with some questions grounded in an educational context: What does it mean to create a safe space for learning for black...Show More Summary

Ransomware Focused on K12 and Government

While ransomware attacks have been on the rise, education has seen (fortunately) few attacks. However, as reported in Softpedia, that could be changing. The focus on educational and government users attempts to take advantage of (among...Show More Summary

Students, Directory Information, and Social Media - Part 2

Last week, I put out a post on social media and kids. Apparently, it was read by more than a couple people. I don't keep track of pageviews or reach here - I have no analytics running on this blog, and while I will talk with people on...Show More Summary

Students and Social Media

Introductory note: In this post, I reference hashtags and tweets I have seen that compromise student privacy. Ordinarily, I would link to the hashtags or tweets, and/or post obscured screenshots. In this post, I am doing neither because I do not want to further compromise the privacy of the people in the examples I have seen. Show More Summary

Some Observations on Kahoot!

NOTE, from July 1, 2016: Kahoot! updated their app, and their privacy policies. The issues flagged in this post have all been addressed. Also worth noting: their turnaround time in addressing these issues was incredibly fast. For what it's worth, I'm impressed by both the speed and the quality of the response. Show More Summary

Building Consensus for Privacy and Security

I had the pleasure to present at ATLIS on April 19, 2016, in Atlanta. The conversation covered different facets of privacy, and how to evaluate the different attitudes toward privacy and security in schools. One element in the conversation that we sped over involved some simple browser-based tools that highlight third party trackers. Show More Summary

Targeted Ads Compromising Privacy in Healthcare

For a current example of how and why privacy matters, we need look no further than the practices of a company that uses "mobile geo fencing and IP targeting services" to target people with ads. In this specific case, the company is targeting ads to women inside Planned Parenthood clinics with anti-choice materials. Show More Summary

Tracking the Trackers

Third party trackers are tools that companies use to track us as we navigate through the web. While most of us don't pay much attention to trackers, they are present on many of the sites we visit. They collect information about our online...Show More Summary

Rostering, Provisioning, Owning Your Stack, and Transparency: a Look at Lewis Palmer

Through the continuing wonderful work over at, I read about an odd situation in Lewis Palmer School District 38. The details are still unfolding, but based on the article on and the original report in Complete Colorado, there are a few layers at play here. Show More Summary

Amazon Inspire, Open Educational Resources, and Copywrong

On Monday, June 27th, Amazon announced Inspire, another free lesson sharing site. What made this effort interesting is, of course, the context: Amazon knows marketplaces, and Amazon knows text distribution. This effort is also part of the Federal Department of Education's "Go Open" work, where Amazon was an early partner. Show More Summary

Civil Rights Complaint Filed Against Portland Public Schools

UPDATE - July 6: According to Willamette Week, Paul Anthony met with Carole Smith on January 26, 2016, and documented the core findings that drove his civil rights complaint. He filed his complaint on May 26, 2016. Between January and...Show More Summary

Concrete Steps to Take to Minimize Risk While Playing Pokemon GO

The launch of Pokemon GO highlights various privacy, security, safety, and privilege concerns with how we use and access tech. While these concerns existed prior to Pokemon GO, and will continue to exist long afterwards, this provides...Show More Summary

Advertising and Rape Threats

On the same day that Donald Trump gets a safe space carved out for him on Reddit, Jessica Valenti's five year old child receives a death and rape threat. We have people claiming they can predict crime. We have companies marketing their prowess at using predictive analytics to support policing. Show More Summary

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