Computing That Serves

Web 2.0, the Global Village, and the Code of Fair Information Practices


Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 11:00am


Michael Quinn
Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Seattle University

Is it wrong to post a photo of a person without that person's permission?

The term "global village" has taken on a new meaning with the introduction of social networks that make it possible to post photos and videos that anyone with Internet access and a Web browser can see. Web 2.0 applications can stir complete strangers into collective action, for good or for ill. In this talk I will describe how collective action based on Internet images has changed people's lives, examine the practice of posting and labeling photos in the light of the Code of Fair Information Practices, and use case-based reasoning to evaluate the morality of several cases involving posting photos to the Web.


Michael J. Quinn is Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Seattle University. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Washington State University, specializing in the area of parallel computing. He also holds an M.S. in computer sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in mathematics from Gonzaga University. He held academic positions at the University of New Hampshire from 1983-1989 and Oregon State University from 1989-2007.

Dr. Quinn is an internationally recognized expert in the field of parallel computing. His research in the area has resulted in the publication of more than 60 refereed journal and conference papers, and his textbooks on parallel computing have been used by hundreds of universities worldwide.

Dr. Quinn is also a leader in the field of computer ethics. His textbook, Ethics for the Information Age, explores moral problems related to modern uses of information technology, such as spam, Internet addiction, intellectual property rights, computer security, software reliability, automation, and off-shoring. The book, now in its third edition, has been adopted by more than 125 colleges and universities in the United States and many more internationally.