IAT-339: 09 The Dark Side

IAT-339: 09 The Dark Side — A slide deck

The Dark Side

The Web Has Problems

Today we will be pulling apart some of the challenges of the modern web. Thematically, these tend to revolve around the ideas of control, privacy, and ultimately morals.


Can you control data online?

"ISPs act as gatekeepers to the Internet, giving them incredible access to records of what you do online. They shouldn’t be able to profit off of the information about what you search for, read about, purchase, and more without your consent."
Senate Puts ISP Profits Over Your Privacy by Kate Tummarello
"The Internet is a machine for moving bits from one place to another very cheaply and quickly"
Microsoft Research DRM Talk by Cory Doctorow
"Any User Content provided by you remains your property. However, by providing User Content to Uber, you grant Uber a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, modify, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and otherwise exploit in any manner such User Content in all formats and distribution channels now known or hereafter devised (including in connection with the Services and Uber's business and on third-party sites and services), without further notice to or consent from you, and without the requirement of payment to you or any other person or entity."
Legal (Uber) - User Provided Content
Data to Go - Cifas


Can you control privacy online?

"The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision. It is being built today. So what will really happen when things, homes and cities become smart?"
The Internet of Things Council
Dyn, Inc. Status
A tweet stating: 'my thermostat overheated the house because it could not resolve the server. nice
A sample of unencrypted audio recognition data collected from a samsung TV
Some Samsung smart TVs sent unencrypted voice data over the web (from The Guardian)
Comic illustrating how Google knows enough about you to feed you ads very effectively
"At this point I've started to actually think I never really have to go back to Zappos to buy the shorts -- no need, they're following me."
"The Pants That Stalked Me on the Web" (Michael Learmonth, Advertising Age)
Why Privacy Matters (Glenn Greenwald)


Can you control morals online? Should you?

"The idea that you're just moving pixels around a screen for whoever pays you for it was never true. We all knew there was power in our tools."
Alex Russell
"We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues."
Kramer, Guillory & Hancock (2014)
What's on your Mind? - Higton
"Hate is having a sort of renaissance online, even in the countries thought to be beyond it."
The Troll Hunters (MIT Technology Review, 18-Dec-2014)
How Designers Destroyed the World (Montiero)


Stuff happens

During the break, please make sure to:

  1. Secure your data
  2. Eliminate your social profiles
  3. Find a cave

Also, please have Prepros or another code pre-processor installed.

Coding Quiz

For the quiz you will be presented with a difficult web layout to replicate, the solution for which will only require that you use HTML and CSS. There are two parts to this quiz:

  1. Researching/proposing solutions (worth 7/10 points)
  2. Creating a solution (worth 3/10 points)

Coding Quiz

For researching/proposing a solution you will be given 30 minutes in which you are required to propose as many potential solutions to the problem as possible.

You will be graded on quality and quantity of proposed solutions. You will be allowed to use the internet. This will be worth 7 of 10 points.

Coding Quiz

For creating a solution you will be given 15 minutes in which you will try to solve the problem in code. This portion will be graded on code validity and solution completeness (part marks are possible). This will be worth 3 of 10 points.

Only one coded solution is required.

What do I review for the quiz?

I highly recommend reviewing anything we have covered with regards to web layout — i.e. old float grids, flexbox, positioning, responsiveness, units — in preparation for the quiz.

Contacting Andrew

Your Lecturer

Reachable at:

  • Office hours — Tuesdays from 9-10am and Thursdays from 9-10am at the Surrey campus mezzanine.
  • ac.ufs@h.werdna