Grade 9

The Big Data Dilemma

What are the benefits and drawbacks of online tracking?

Many of us are aware that we're being tracked when we go online. It's one of the ways our favorite websites and apps know how to recommend content just for us. But how much information are companies actually collecting? And what are they doing with it? Digging into the details can help us make smart decisions about our online privacy and how to protect it.

See the U.K. version of this lesson plan

Learning Objectives:
  • Define online tracking and describe how companies use it.
  • Identify the benefits and drawbacks of online tracking to both companies and users.
  • Analyze specific examples of online tracking and take a position for or against them.
Key Vocabulary: cookies  ·  online tracking  ·  personalized content  ·  targeted advertising  ·  third-party
small text files stored on a computer that keep track of what a person does on a website
online tracking:
apps, websites, or third parties collecting information about your online activity (other sites you visit, links you click, how long you stay, etc.)
personalized content:
information that a website or app shows you based on what they think you want to see
targeted advertising:
advertisements that are shown to you based on information that has been collected about you (location, browsing history, interests, age, etc.)
a company other than the company that owns the website or app you are using
Privacy & Security
This lesson meets standards for Common Core ELACASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

50 mins.

What You'll Need

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

Classroom resources

  • Lesson Slides
  • Both Sides of the Track Handout Teacher Version
  • Lesson Quiz

Take-home resources