Sharing Releases Control

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Sharing Releases Control


Content Source:

International Computer Science Institute
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


Any time you interact online, that information is recorded in the network. And, as with in-person communication, once you’ve shared something, you can’t control what happens to it — or how people will interpret it. Other people can repost or forward content to any audience without your permission, websites can sell information to other businesses, and data can be legally subpoenaed. Websites and search engines automatically pick up and duplicate content, making it impossible to “unshare” — the Internet never forgets!

The lesson elements in this module teach students about the privacy principle “Sharing information over a network means you give up control over that information — forever”. They are designed to be independent and flexible, so you can incorporate them into any size lesson plan. Student resources are available at

Summary of Learning Objectives: Students can enumerate ways their information may be recorded, re-shared, and reinterpreted once it is online; students can use privacy settings and imaginative self-inquiry to limit potentially harmful sharing.

Target Age: High school, college undergraduate.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Students can explain that once any type of content is shared online, it can be instantly available to anyone. As a result, students can make more informed decisions about the type of content they choose to share.
  2. Students can list examples and elaborate on ways in which shared content may be stored online forever, disseminated, and potentially used to harm them.
  3. Students can list some factors that might lead to an online communication being misinterpreted.
  4. Before sharing a piece of information online, students can imagine potential negative consequences of that information becoming public knowledge.
  5. Students are aware of privacy settings, can explain what they do, and can apply these skills to aid them in better controlling what information they release and to whom.
  6. Students are able to articulate how their behavior significantly affects the privacy of others, and can apply this knowledge by asking others about unspoken sharing preferences.
Content Standard(s):
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 9-12
R1) Identify, demonstrate, and apply personal safe use of digital devices.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 9-12
11) Model and demonstrate behaviors that are safe, legal, and ethical while living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world.

a. Recognize user tracking methods and hazards.

Examples: Cookies, WiFi packet sniffing.

b. Understand how to apply techniques to mitigate effects of user tracking methods.

c. Understand the ramifications of end-user license agreements and terms of service associated with granting rights to personal data and media to other entities.

d. Explain the relationship between online privacy and personal security.

Examples: Convenience and accessibility, data mining, digital marketing, online wallets, theft of personal information.

e. Identify physical, legal, and ethical consequences of inappropriate digital behaviors.

Examples: Cyberbullying/harassment, inappropriate sexual communications.

f. Explain strategies to lessen the impact of negative digital behaviors and assess when to apply them.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 9-12
12) Describe how sensitive data can be affected by malware and other attacks.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 9-12
19) Prove that digital identity is a reflection of persistent, publicly available artifacts.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 9-12
20) Evaluate strategies to manage digital identity and reputation with awareness of the permanent impact of actions in a digital world.

Tags: consequences, privacy, privacy settings, shared content
License Type: Attribution
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Author: Aimee Bates