The McKelvy Scholars wiA smartphone with icons for Clubhouse, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and WeChatll host a discussion led by Shirley Liu ’23 and Nat Schmit ’22 on Sunday at 6 p.m.  Email the group for the Zoom link. The group also will host a Netflix party on Saturday at 6 p.m. to watch The Great Hack. Email Shirley to join in. Shirley and Nat provide background for the discussion:

Do you ever feel like your Facebook feed is reading your mind? Are you convinced Alexa’s been listening to you? Phones and other technology are able to make predictions about you through extensive data collection on you and millions of others.

Below are some mandatory and optional readings to prepare for our discussion. Please take the time to complete these readings before Sunday as they will provide depth and substance to our conversation. Additionally, we’ve included some questions we will be discussing.

Mandatory readings



  1. How do you interact with data (e.g., social media, Google searches, location tracking) in your daily life?
  2. What do we give up when we share ourselves in the digital age?
  3. Are there any benefits to big data?
  4. How should times of crisis (e.g., a global pandemic) affect our rights to data privacy? (Think of using phones to track individual movement for the sake of tracing the virus.)
  5. How do you think this can be resolved? What reforms do we need? Who is responsible for protecting our data privacy?

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