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Panopticon Jr: A psych prof captures daily communication of 175 Texas teens

nonprofiteer (1906180) writes | more than 2 years ago

Blackberry 0

nonprofiteer (1906180) writes "A University of Texas-Dallas developmental psychology professor has used a $3.4 million NIH grant to purchase Blackberries for 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM they've sent over the past 4 years.Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. The researchers don't "directly ask" the teens about privacy issues because they don't want to remind them they're being monitored.

So many legal and ethical issues here. I can't believe this is IRB-approved. Teens sending nude photos alone could make that database legally toxic.

And then there's the ethical issue of monitoring those who have not consented to be part of the study, but are friends with those who have. When a friend texted one participant about selling drugs, he responded, “Hey, be careful, the BlackBerry people are watching, but don’t worry, they won’t tell anyone.”"

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