Privacy Debate Kit Resources

“Should mobile phones be always listening?”

The kit allows students to look at the argument from all sides; to explore the benefits and privacy implications of mobile phones listening in the background.

All the facts in the Privacy Debate Kit have been researched. This page contains references and additional resources relating to the kit.

Debate lesson presentation

Download this presentation in PowerPoint or PDF format to use in your debate lesson.

How have your students’ opinions changed?

Take a class vote to show how many students would answer “Yes”, “No” or “Don’t know” to the debate question at the start, part-way through and the end of your lesson. Share your class thoughts with us using this survey during the lesson.

Supporting resources

Hey computer: Devices that always listen (2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES)

A great introduction to the debate. This 30 second clip of Professor Sophie Scott introducing devices that always listen at the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES helps set the scene for your class debate.

Facebook data – as scandalous as MPs’ expenses? (BBC)

News story on misuse of data collected by Facebook in March 2018.

Shhh… Alexa might be listening (The Guardian)

Short article about Amazon’s patent to potentially eavesdrop on conversations held nearby voice-activated devices in the future.

Hey, Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It? (The New York Times)

Short article about the possibility of voice-activated devices using detail from your conversations, tone of voice etc to collect data that could potentially be used to inform advertising, for example.

Is your smartphone listening to everything you say? We asked the experts (Digital Trends)

Summary of the issues around voice-activated technology and privacy. 

Is your smartphone listening to you? (BBC)

Short investigation from BBC technology reporter.

How speech recognition works (How stuff works)

Explains the science behind voice-activated devices.

Five tips to keep your app data safe online (BBC)

A 2 minute clip to explain the rights app companies have to your data and how to protect it.

The truth about teens and privacy (danah boyd)

For over a decade, danah boyd researched how young people use social media as part of their everyday practices and subsequently wrote It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014). This article summarises the themes of her book.

What will a future without secrets look like? (TED talk by Alessandro Acquisti)

The line between public and private has blurred in the past decade, both online and in real life, and Alessandro Acquisti is here to explain what this means and why it matters in this 15 minute talk. Read more about Alessandro in this article “Why technological privacy is an economic matter.”

Please Rob Me (BBC)

BBC article about a website (PleaseRobMe) which claims to reveal the location of empty homes based on what people post online.

Amazon Echo reviews (Twitter)

This tweet about Amazon Echo reviews highlights the advantages of voice-activated technology.