Grade 12

Debating the Privacy Line

Should the government have access to all your social media and cellphone data?

Often, the more information we have, the better decisions we're able to make. The power of data can benefit both individuals and governments. But who can be trusted with the responsibility of having all this data? Can governments collect and use it fairly and without violating our privacy? Help students think through this question and become thoughtful influencers of data policy and practice.

Students will be able to:
  • Identify the pros and cons of schools having access to students' social media.
  • Describe the concerns related to government access to social media and cellphone data, including those related to free speech and privacy.
  • Choose a position for or against government access to social media and cellphone data, and support that position with reasons and examples.
Key Vocabulary: Fourth Amendment to The Constitution  ·  surveillance
Fourth Amendment to The Constitution:
a law that protects people from unreasonable searches
surveillance:
closely watching or keeping track of a person or people
Privacy & Security
This lesson meets standards for CASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

55 mins.
Extension Activity:

In Activity C, students took a position on the topic and prepared their strongest reasons and evidence. If time allows, or in a subsequent class period, have students form debate teams according to their position and hold an in-class debate. Check out this article for some easy high-debate formats.

What You'll Need

Select resources below, then open in English or Spanish. Unlock free resources

Classroom resources

  • Lesson Slides
  • Student Handout: Safety Vs. Privacy Student Version Teacher Version
  • Lesson Quiz

Take-home resources