Who Cares About Personal Data?

How often do you get frustrated with someone only to then feel that perhaps, maybe, you are over-reacting?

Since starting back at Uni for my final year, there is one tutor with which I have been having this dilemma, from the point where he posted a group discussion entry asking all students to break the ice by introducing themselves in the forum ... and to include links to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as uploading a copy of their CV.  

To a publicly accessible forum.

My first reaction was to e-mail the guy and tell him I wasn't going to go back to Facebook, to which he replied to just set up a dummy account, as we would be using the site as part of our studies.  Damn.  I really didn't want to go back there, but after a week of coming to terms with the idea, I set up a dummy account.  

Then reactivated my old account - it seems I haven't missed much in the two years I've been away :-\

However, in reality, this was far less of an issue than being asked to post my CV.  Looking through the discussion forum, people were posting their CVs complete with personal contact data.  Seriously?!  The forum is accessible to absolutely anybody in the university, not just those on the module, so posting your personal details is utter CRAZINESS!!!

So I refused to comply, as have a very small handful of others, the majority of whom are returning placement students.  I suggested that if people really wanted to post their CV then, at the very least, remove your personal details first.  

This cropped up in one of the lectures where the tutor said that yes, it was something to discuss in the future, but he was very vague about why we needed to do it, other than the ice breaker posting would determine which groups we would be placed into.

If I was wary before, I have definitely now reached a point where I do not trust him: we have now been placed in groups and our personal contact details have been displayed for others in the group to see.  So, despite my details being collected for the university to be able to contact me and the fact that I have specifically stated in my profile settings that my personal details are for staff use only, the tutor has seen fit to expose my data to students.

Am I being over-sensitive?  Am I over-reacting?  Or have I done the right thing suggesting that this is a potential breach of the data protection act?

In my mind, everyone here is far too open with their personal details, adding strangers as friends on social websites, posting personal contact details in public forums and not hiding their pin numbers when they pay for stuff (definitely a pet hate).  Perhaps the tutor is going to use this to demonstrate what can happen if you are not careful, but I suspect not.

Oh, and the title of this module?

Professional Issues in Computing.

Oh, the irony.


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