Module 6: INFORMATION POLICY – Identity, privacy, security and trust

Explore some of these following readings regarding the issues of identity, privacy, security and trust:

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. & Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security    and Trust. In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC                membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook]                                                        
Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities      in social network sites, First Monday, 14(6), 1 June. Available
Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age    of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January.                                            
Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77.    
Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the Web, February 1. 

Based on your reading of three (3) of the above readings on issues related to online identity, privacy and/or trust. Think about online identity in relation to both individuals and organisations:
  • what is important in terms of how we present and manage those identities online?
  • what can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?
Post a 350 word summary of important issues around online identity to your learning journal.


Reading Module 6 this week comes at a very interesting time as it coincides with some real-life learning about the power of social media in Singapore where I live.  

To briefly summarise the case, a British Expatriate Banker, Anton Casey, made inappropriate and offensive comments relating to Singaporeans, in particular, poor Singaporeans on Facebook and on YouTube. These comments got out to the press, went viral and resulted in thousands of comments, police reports being filed, death threats to Mr. Casey, and ultimately resulted in him losing his job and having to leave Singapore. [Disclaimer – I think what he said is deplorable and casts a shadow over all expatriates in Singapore, however this is an exercise in Social Media safety not ethics or morality and will be discussed as such].

I’ll discuss each of the aspects of Identity, privacy, security and trust in turn, with reference to this case. However each of these are intimately related to the other, and none can be assumed.

Identity: Mr. Casey appears to be among the third of people who are “comfortable sharing their true personalities online as in person” (De Rosa, etal, 2007, p. 3-11) and based on hearsay had “the same personalities online and offline” (De Rosa, etal, 2007, p. 3-13). This is something that Pearson (2009) writes about, which can be summarised as “they know you’re a dog” and “we know you’re a dog”.

Privacy: As the OCLC report states that most people think it is important to have control over their personal information, however, goes on to say “Respondents frequently do not take advantage of privacy controls that are available.”  It took less than a day for the posts on what one would assume to be a private Facebook account to go viral.  And subsequent to that all other aspects of Mr. Casey’s life were made public, his address and phone number, his email, name of employer, his supervisor, details of his wife and child, his car registration number, the school he attended. As Lim Swee Say states on Channel News Asia (CNA) in relation to another Facebook incident, “There is no such thing as a private space in the social media. In fact, social media is public. Therefore, it is important that whatever we say and express in the social media should be done knowing that it would become public.” (CNA, 2012)

Security:  In his “apology”, Mr. Casey mentions a security breach in Facebook, in reality it was more likely a breach of trust in his “friendship” circle. Rayes-Goldie (2010) touches on the concept of “social privacy” and how Facebook users both circumvent Facebook controls, and protect their own social privacy through the use of alias, deleting posts and “wall cleaning”.  In this blog post, an educator gives “9 points to consider before posting on Social Media” – something that not only students, but everyone needs to think about.

There is also the question of Social media and the law.  In the UK at least, some posts in Social Media could land the person in jail. This brief infographic itemises a few incidences of this occurring with a brief summary of the law on “improper use of public electronic communications network

Finally, the 8 tools of Davis (2009) were used, checking the footprint of “Anton Casey” and yielded the following results:
Blogpulse: – no longer exists
Boardtracker: new version “coming soon”
monitter: no longer works as Twitter changed its API
Socialmention: analysis seems rather poor as comments were deemed to be largely “neutral” 
Serph: no longer works
Spy: not a very graphically / link friendly site. 
Pipl: not only are his Facebook and Twitter account revealed (both disabled) but those of his friends as well.  And his friends (or ex-friends) seem to be equally careless about privacy as this screen shot shows (I blanked out the names in order to protect the privacy they’re obviously not protecting themselves)

since these tools are 3-4 years old and , and Twitter were also checked: 2756 tweets in 7 days, search: there is a new hashtag: #antoncasey

Finally – here is a slightly frightening video on the “RIOT” technology for tracking people.

In this post, I’ve just touched on personal identity, privacy, security and trust. This incident in Singapore also had implications on the corporation where Mr. Casey was working, highlighting the need of companies to monitor not only their corporate online presence in social media, but also that of their employees, and to have appropriate policies in place.



Anton Casey loses job over derisive comments. (2014, January 25). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from
C, D. (2014, January 26). 9 Points to Consider Before Posting on Social Media. Edubabbling for the Masses. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from
Channel News Asia. (2012, October 9). NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say: Firing Amy Cheong Was One of the Most Difficult Decisions. Facebook. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from
De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security and Trust. In In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. Retrieved from
OCLC. (2007). Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: a report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio, USA: OCLC.

Pearson, J. (n.d.). Life as a Dog [online]. Meanjin, 68(2), 67–77.

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook. First Monday, 15(1). Retrieved from

Rich Foreigner labels Singaporeans who take Public Transport as “Poor People.” (2014, January 20). The Real Singapore. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from
Tadeo, M. (2014, January 22). British expat banker Anton Casey causes uproar in Singapore after mocking “poor people” calling a taxi driver a “retard.” The Independent Business News. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from
Tan, J. (2014, January 25). Anton Casey leaves for Perth with family, hopes to return “when we feel safe.” Yahoo News Singapore. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from–offers-to-do-community-work–report-015614740.html

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