My inbox and feeds have been filled with stories of the threat posed by a widely-used video conferencing client. In simple terms, those who installed a piece of software use a specific tool can have their webcams controlled by others. This is clearly a privacy concern… I will simply stop here so this does not distract me from my topics.
I have seen many who are indignant at the apparent nonchalance with which the company addressed this issue. I have seen many who are concerned that their proporarity systems may have been compromised.
I am pleased to see that the group that appears the most distressed by this situation comprises researchers who have asked individuals to use this software to participate in interviews and other research activities. One of the requirement for being an ethical creator of and user of data is ensuring your use of one’s data, or their participation in your data collection activities, poses no threat the participant’s safety or privacy or their sense of safety or privacy.
As one who has used this system in question for research purposes, I am concerned for my participant’s privacy. I have reviewed my research journals, and I am convinced my projects alone have exposed no one. But I have involved fewer than 15 participants in such studies, and I am confident they would have exposed themselves through other activities as well.
It is well that we have individuals in or society (and creating some of our data) who are concerned about *how* we collect out data and the implications of our data collection.