To help CS teachers tie privacy concepts more closely to traditional CS curriculum content — i.e. programming — the Teaching Privacy team created three new programming exercises to add to our Teaching Privacy/TROPE curriculum:

  • Mapping Geotagged Tweets: Students use the Twitter API to extract the location data for a user’s tweets and a mapping library to create a heatmap of the locations. (A starter version of our “Ready or Not?” app.) Students are then asked to brainstorm about how extracting and comparing individual data points to form a combined picture can reveal additional, potentially sensitive information. (Added to curriculum Module 1, “You’re Leaving Footprints”.)
  • What Can You Learn from Cross-Site Aggregation?: Students use the Tumblr and Twitter APIs to extract posts for a fictional character, Kai Peroc, and view them in an array. They are then asked to brainstorm inferences they can draw by comparing the different information presented on the two sites by the same person and how different entities could use the inferred information. (Added to curriculum Module 3, “Information Is Valuable”.)
  • What Does Facebook Tell Third Parties?: Students use the Facebook API to extract information about a fictional character, Kai Peroc, by making API calls as a third-party app. They are then asked to brainstorm about what types of apps might want that information and what they might do with it. (Added to curriculum Module 5, “Sharing Releases Control”.)

All three exercises use Python; the first two are available in Jupyter Notebook format (via GitHub).

These new “Programming for Privacy” additions to our site are thanks to a grant from the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity at University of California, Berkeley.

…and while we’re mentioning our favorite features, did you know there’s a Teaching Privacy YouTube channel?