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25C3: The Privacy Workshop Project

Christoph Brünung / Privacy Workshop Project

It’s again 11:30 and another talk about privacy is happening (they are all at that time it seems). This time it’s Kai Schubert and Christoph Brüning talking about their „Privacy Workshop Project„, subtitled „enhancing the value of privacya in todays students view“.

Both are due to their jobs involved in teaching young people.

About the idea an how to get students to listen to you

The idea came from their work in AK Vorrat (working group about data retention). They did a lot of work in the streets, also some artists stuff but they thought that is not enough because they don’t create enough knowledge by that.

So the idea was born to educate young people as those are the people being in the net.

So how do you get the students to listen to you? For a teacher that’s easy because they have to. But in general you need to find a teacher who

  • has the knowledge
  • he/she has the didactic skills

And it’s all about concernment. If you are in the age of 10-16 then everybody else is dump, the others are too old or too young. So they don’t listen to you eventually.

Do you have a chance then?

What they did:

  • get a list of the names of the students
  • search for their profiles on social networks
  • print them out
  • put them onto the wall in the schoolroom

From there on it’s a self-working thing. Christoph said he just went in with them and just sat there and did nothing. After a while they saw the profiles and started laughing.. after a while they saw certain pictures (drinking, bikini, posing).

After a while they began to look at him and he asked:

„What do you think the other teachers said about you when seeing this?“

They were shocked because they thought about this to be private and after that you can talk to them about the need for privacy.

Communicating the need of privacy

You can then ask why you need privacy? Like do we need it in our bedrooms?

You also have to make clear that the students have to see the internet as a vast market place. They are not aware that they are not just sharing with their friends but with the whole public.

Christoph also mentions that esp. girls are an issue as they do pictures where they look much older than they are, posing that way and so on. But they of course shouldn’t upload those photos. And once you uploaded it it’s out of control.

The question the students raise then is „But is the internet solely evil?“

Of course it isn’t but you need to use it wisely.

You also don’t go naked on a marketplace and shout out loud the names of all the people you slept with.

Audience Question: How do you get teachers interested in this?

Normally it’s easier than it first looks like. If you have a teacher as a friend you can talk to him and convince him and teach him. Or you talk to young students as they have usually a good idea which teacher might be good to talk to.

Hands-on …

Kai now is explaining what they do in practice with the kids.

The general setting and organisation: Good is a place where there is a computer lab etc. but that not a blocker. You do things with and without the computer. you also do e.g. discussions.

Kids also should bring their own stuff, like at least some USB stick. It’s also good to find some teenager for whom it’s easier to explain.

How do you explain technical details?

For most teenagers it’s usually „I don’t know anything about it and I don’t care“. So you have to explain it in an easy way to it and some RL comparisons.

Like in the real world you have a key to protect something. Or you have some information somewhere and you need some password like a PIN. Lastly you want data stored in a secure way.

Some examples:

  • Settings in social networking services. They explain what those settings in the networks are and how to set them in a proper way (public profile?). It’s a good idea to do this in several social networks.
  • Secure passwords are a good idea, too. Usually they only use short passwords. A good idea is to remember a sentence and use the first letters of the words. Better at least than a short, easy one. So you ask them to think of a password and actually change this on social networks plus using it for data encryption.
  • They also show how to setup a TrueCrypt container on their USB sticks. But most encryption software is not easy enough to use.

And once they understood that this data then is really secure and not even teachers can obtain it, they are really interested.

What we want from you

  • Join us in enlighening students!
  • And it needs to be all of you. Only few teachers have the knowledge.
  • you just need to teach the teachers, they then have the didactic skills
  • Tell us about your experiences.
  • Help us to create and improve teaching utilities


Suggestion: you should provide stuff for students who don’t have their own stuff to bring.

They said they also had stuff with them before, also preinstalled laptops.

Question: Why don’t you ask ERFA-Kreise (CCC local chapters) to help with it?

The problem is that there is no ERFA-Kreis in Siegen (where they come from). But in general the question about asking them is: When and where? Doing this without the school is difficult as you need to organize 10-40 students to come at the same time to a place which is suitable. As a teacher you can „force“ students to come.

But of course you can invite CCC people to the school if there happen to be people.

Idea from the audience: Many parents put up photos of their kids on the internet and when later those kids google themselves they might be embarassed. So one idea might also to google for the parent’s profiles and confront the students with this, too.

They said that they also did some sort of competition on who found the most about a certain person on the net and that also was very shocking that you can track a person for a complete year just by their photo uploads.

Question: Are you aware of any other international projects like this?

He wasn’t but the audience knew something.

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