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Researchers Face Privacy Hurdles

PRIVACY—U.S.

July 12, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the "emerging ethical challenges" researchers face when it comes to privacy. In 2006, Harvard researchers downloaded 1,700 Facebook profiles from the school's class of 2009 to study how race and cultural tastes affect relationships. But the project was halted after the researchers were criticized for using the students' data without their knowledge. Although the project's lead researcher said the data was edited to avoid student identification, a scholar at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee showed that data could be identified, noting that there's "a lot of work to do to make sure that we're doing this kind of research correctly..."
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