Inside Man: Big Data Video
Background: From the moment we began our discourse on the topic of surveillance and law enforcement, we have necessarily been forced to consider the limitations of privacy protections upon our own
personal data. The vast amount of personal data, accessible through the use of technology, is worthy of consideration by every individual. Morgan Spurlock’s documentary series, “Inside Man”
explores a number of socially relevant topics, including “big data” or the practice of collecting data on tech users for marketing, security, and other purposes. The intent of this assignment is to
encourage each student to consider the limitations of his/her privacy protections and reflect upon the implications of the availability of this data both commercially and for law enforcement use.
Assignment First, watch the episode of Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man: Big Data” included in this assignment. Second, review the following questions after having watched and carefully considered the
assigned video. Provide a reflective and thoughtful response. Cite caselaw to support your responses where appropriate. Include your analysis in your responses. Please limit your response to each
question to no longer than 250 words. Respond to questions separately and clearly mark which question you are responding to.
1. What types of privacy implications are triggered by the data collection discussed in this episode? Is the data collection strictly limited to commercial use, or are other types of uses a
possibility based upon modern data collection practices? Clearly explain your response.
2. Morgan Spurlock performed a number of investigatory internet searches in order to illustrate the availability of data. He suggested that his conduct was legal based upon the consent of the
subjects whom he searched. What might happen if Morgan were a law enforcement officer, rather than a private actor? How might this distinction inherently impact the legality of his conduct? Should
this type of internet search be available to law enforcement officers? If so, what types of limitations should be prescribed? Explain.
3. Morgan Spurlock suggests that, as modern tech users, we are forced to exchange our privacy interests for convenience and the advantages that technology can provide. Do you agree or disagree with
this conclusion? Clearly explain your analysis and response.
4. Senate Bill 2025 (also known as the Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act), discussed briefly towards the end of the episode, is an attempt to require greater transparency by allowing
consumers to access or correct data collected about their person. Is simply allowing a consumer to correct an incorrect piece of data, or allowing consumers access to the data collected, a
sufficient remedy for any limitations upon personal privacy? Why or why not? What further limitations would you propose if drafting this legislation? Clearly explain your response.