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D.O.C.I.S. Assignment 1: Privacy

Click here to download Assignment 1 in PDF format.

For an example of a finished Assignment, click here (pdf).

Period: September 2019 (2019Q3)
Theme: Privacy
Book(s) for theme: 1984 by George Orwell
Number of sub-assignments: 3
Due: September 29th 2019
Estimated time needed to finish assignment: 2 hours

Assignment 1A: The Diary

Picture this: you are the main character in 1984 and you are a true daredevil. For the future, you will take a leap of faith.

Your very first D.O.C.I.S. Assignment is to cryptically write about your greatest personal privacy concern(s), in the context of the slightly alternated text of the first chapter of 1984 written below, in a different font. Topics to write about could, for example, be your internet activity, your medical record, your beliefs and/or your finances.

For privacy reasons, you are recommended to print out this document and work with pen and paper. Extra sheets of paper might come in handy. Assignment 1 is something that you absolutely do not have to submit or publicize on your D.O.C.I.S. Page (though it would be appreciated). Doing that is for the double daredevils. (Take into consideration that your issue(s) could be deciphered.)

The essence of this assignment is that everyone has the topics of their greatest privacy issues ready, so that we, as an international alliance, can seek practical solutions to this and hopefully find a way to put that into practice.

Opening The Diary (D.O.C.I.S. Assignment 1A)

For some reason the telescreen in the living-room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in which __________________[1] was now sitting, and which, when the flats were built, had probably been intended to hold bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, __________________1 was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He/She[2] could be heard, of course, but so long as he/she2 stayed in his/her2 present position he/she2 could not be seen. It was partly the unusual geography of the room that had suggested to him/her2 the thing that he/she2 was now about to do.

The thing that he/she2 was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. __________________1 fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. The pen was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, and he/she2 had procured one, furtively and with some difficulty, simply because of a feeling that the beautiful creamy paper deserved to be written on with a real nib instead of being scratched with an ink-pencil. Actually he/she2 was not used to writing by hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into the speak-write which was of course impossible for his present purpose. He/She2 dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for just a second. A tremor had gone through his bowels. To mark the paper was the decisive act. In small clumsy letters he wrote:

______________________________________________[3]

For whom, it suddenly occurred to him/her2 to wonder, was he/she2 writing this diary? For the future, for the unborn. His/Her2 mind hovered for a moment round the doubtful date on the page, and then fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak word DOUBLETHINK. For the first time the magnitude of what he/she2 had undertaken came home to him/her2. How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him/her2: or it would be different from it, and his/her2 predicament would be meaningless. But literally writing history is what he/she2 held on to.

For weeks past he/she2 had been making ready for this moment, and it had never crossed his/her2 mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he/she2 had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his/her2 head, literally for years.

The seconds were ticking by. He/She2 was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him/her2, the itching of the skin above his/her2 ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.

Suddenly he/she2 began writing in sheer panic, only imperfectly aware of what he/she2 was setting down. His/Her2 small but childish handwriting straggled up and down the page, shedding first its capital letters and finally even its full stops:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________[4]

Assignment 1B: Questionnaire Dilemma

D.O.C.I.S. International would like to use data about personal opinion and personal preferences to adapt its services to its Alliance members. Not everyone, however, is comfortable with sharing personal information (online).

Assignment 1B consists of some questions to learn where you draw the line when it comes to sharing personal information online. To keep your full privacy, this should be done with pen and paper. But it would be highly appreciated if you would submit your score to D.O.C.I.S. International (via your online Book Club account).

Your score determines if you are more free or more reserved. To calculate it, please add the score numbers that belong to your chosen answers. The score numbers do not indicate good or bad.

There is no “neutral” option in the questionnaire, to simplify clarity. (If everyone would fill out “neutral” for every question, a lot would stay unclear.)

The Questionnaire (D.O.C.I.S. Assignment 1B)

For every question, you may only choose one answer. Please select the extent to which you agree with the following statements:

  1. “Due to privacy concerns, I do not find it comfortable to share (everything about) my political beliefs (online).”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: +10
    2. I agree
      Score: +5
    3. I disagree
      Score: -5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: -10
  2. “Due to privacy concerns, I share my real (full) name as little as possible.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: +10
    2. I agree
      Score: +5
    3. I disagree
      Score: -5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: -10
  3. “Anyone may know anything about me, if they just ask me about it.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: -10
    2. I agree
      Score: -5
    3. I disagree
      Score: +5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: +10
  4. “Due to privacy concerns, I cannot become a member of D.O.C.I.S. International.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: +20
    2. I agree
      Score: +10
    3. I disagree
      Score: -10
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: -20
  5. “I fear that people will spread false information about me.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: +10
    2. I agree
      Score: +5
    3. I disagree
      Score: -5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: -10
  6. “The authorities may know everything about me.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: -10
    2. I agree
      Score: -5
    3. I disagree
      Score: +5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: +10
  7. “Privacy does not limit me in what I say and do.”
    1. I strongly agree
      Score: -10
    2. I agree
      Score: -5
    3. I disagree
      Score: +5
    4. I strongly disagree
      Score: +10

Scores

If your score is between 0 and 80, you are a reserved person on the privacy scale. The greater the number, the more reserved you are.

If your score is between -5 and -80, you are a free person on the privacy scale. The greater the number, the freer you are.

Side note: Fangs has created the privacy scale for this assignment, without using any other research for reference, so this case study is in its pseudoscientific stage.

Assignment 1C

On September 29th 2019, we will have our first Book Club Meeting. This will be online, with both Online members and Full members together. It will be themed with the practical side of privacy concerns.

A part of this will be done in clusters. Please select one to three topics from the list below, you would like to discuss the practical side of, ordered by preference:

  1. Cyber crime
  2. The authorities
  3. Personal relationships
  4. Business
  5. Finance
  6. Beliefs
  7. Medical records
  8. Other (here you will be asked to elaborate on topics that are omitted in this list)

Just like at the other sub-assignments in this assignment, this does not have to be submitted to D.O.C.I.S. International, but doing so would be highly appreciated.

More information about the first Book Club Meeting will follow. You will receive an e-mail about it and on the Book Club homepage of your online Book Club account on The Fangs will have the same announcement on it once the e-mail is sent.

[1] Please write down your (D.O.C.I.S. Nick)name

[2] Please strike through your opposite gender.

[3] Please write down the date you are writing this assignment. (For example: April 4th, 1984 or 01/09/2019.)

[4] Please cryptically write about your greatest privacy concern(s)

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