Friday, November 25, 2011

[Podcast] How Private Is Your Email? It Depends?; NPR's All Things Considered, 11/24/11

[Podcast] NPR's All Things Considered, 11/24/11; How Private Is Your Email? It Depends? :

"Do the police need a warrant to read your email? Believe it or not, two decades into the Internet age, the answer to that question is still "maybe." It depends on how old the email is, where you keep it — and it even depends on whom you ask."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Excess of Ethics; Library Journal, 11/15/11

John N. Berry III, Library Journal; An Excess of Ethics:

"No principle or rule of professional ethics requires that library workers forfeit any of their rights or job benefits in order to hold their jobs. Support for professional development and advancement is a benefit of working in good libraries. This often includes time off and even payment of costs for conference attendance. I was surprised when many library administrators seemed to disagree with those assertions in a fascinating recent discussion on the PubLib list.

Even the American Library Association (ALA) Code of Ethics (COE) leaves some room for dispute about the ethical responsibilities of library workers and what they owe their employer when they take advantage of certain job benefits and opportunities."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

[Editorial] A Push for Online Privacy; New York Times, 11/19/11

[Editorial] New York Times; A Push for Online Privacy:

"Congress should act on the F.T.C.’s recommendation to establish a system that would allow consumers to effectively opt out of all tracking of their online activities. There are other worthy proposals, including the administration’s call for limits on the collection of data about consumers online. Lawmakers have proposed about a dozen privacy bills this year alone. But with Congress stuck in a partisan rut, it is reassuring to see the F.T.C. at work."

Doing the Ethical Thing May Be Right, but It Isn’t Automatic; New York Times, 10/18/11

Alina Tugend, New York Times; Doing the Ethical Thing May Be Right, but It Isn’t Automatic:

"Putting aside the specifics of each case, one question that has come up is, “What would I do?” That is, if I saw what seemed to be a crime or unethical act committed by a respected colleague, coach, teacher or friend, would I storm in and stop it? Would I call the authorities immediately? Would I disregard the potentially devastating impact on my job or workplace or beloved institution?"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Take: Keep government out of mind-reading business;, 11/12/11

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., director of Emory University’s Center for Ethics,; My Take: Keep government out of mind-reading business:

"Throughout human history, the inner workings of our minds were impenetrable, known only to us and, perhaps, to God. No one could see what you were thinking, or know what you were feeling, unless you chose to reveal it to them...

Now, for the first time in human history, we are peering into the labyrinth of the mind and pulling out information, perhaps even information you would rather we did not know.

Neuroscientists are actively developing technologies to create more effective lie detectors, to determine if people have been at a crime scene, or to predict who may be more likely to engage in violent crime...

And if brain imaging for lie detection is shown to be reliable, intelligence agencies may want to use it to discover moles, employers may want to use it to screen employees, schools to uncover vandals or cheaters.

But should we allow it?

I believe not."

Plan Would Delay Sales of Generic for Lipitor; New York Times, 11/12/11

Duff Wilson, New York Times; Plan Would Delay Sales of Generic for Lipitor:

"Pfizer has agreed to large discounts for benefit managers that block the use of generic versions of Lipitor, according to a letter from Catalyst Rx, a benefit manager for 18 million people in the United States. The letters have not previously been made public.

A pharmacy group and an independent expert say the tactic will benefit Pfizer and benefit managers at the expense of employers and taxpayers, who may end up paying more than they should for the drug...

“I’m stunned,” said Geoffrey F. Joyce, an associate professor of pharmaceutical economics and a health policy expert at the University of Southern California, after reviewing the letters. “This is just an egregious case."

Penn State trustees stand behind acting leader, vow investigation; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/12/11

Laura Olson and Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Penn State trustees stand behind acting leader, vow investigation:

"Provost Rodney Erickson, who ascended to the presidency on Wednesday night, addressed the trustees Friday morning and devoted most of his time reassuring the campus, parents, alumni and others that the school would take the necessary corrective actions.

Later in the day, Mr. Erickson said the university will appoint an ethics officer who would report directly to the president. "We will cooperate fully and completely with any ongoing investigation," he said.

Board chairman Steve Garban echoed those sentiments, saying, "We are committed to restoring public trust in this university.""

Questioning Privacy Protections in Research; New York Times, 10/23/11

Patricia Cohen, New York Times; Questioning Privacy Protections in Research:

"Hoping to protect privacy in an age when a fingernail clipping can reveal a person’s identity, federal officials are planning to overhaul the rules that regulate research involving human subjects. But critics outside the biomedical arena warn that the proposed revisions may unintentionally create a more serious problem: sealing off vast collections of publicly available information from inspection, including census data, market research, oral histories and labor statistics."