Privacy, Reputation, and Identity in a Digital Age Teach-Out


Reputation has long been prized. In its traditional form, people who know something about you use this knowledge to form opinions. Their collective sense of who you are—your reputation—affects how people treat you: it shapes all of your social interactions.

In today's world, additional knowledge about you resides in "big data" collected by individuals, organizations, companies, and governments. Increasingly, data about you are being processed by algorithms to draw conclusions: to form something like opinions.

This combination of data and algorithms creates a new digital reputation which increasingly shapes your life, from recommending purchases and suggesting friends to prompting actions based solely on your digital footprint.

Who gathers, owns, and controls this data? Where do they get it, and how? How do they use it? Is it shared with people, processed by algorithms, used to construct your choices? What should we think about all of this?

In this Teach-Out we will consider questions of privacy, reputation, and identity using a case study approach. Learners will hear from experts and engage in conversation using real-world scenarios across multiple topic areas.

  • Rating

    4 stars

    based on 53 reviews

  • Subject

  • Language


  • Duration

    2 weeks

  • Status


  • U-M Credit Eligible



  • Sol Bermann

    Sol Bermann

    University Privacy Officer; Interim Chief Information Security Officer

  • Tim McKay

    Tim McKay

    Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Education


4 out of 5 stars

May 24, 2018

Much that is valuable. Especially the additional resources they list out and the demos using Google dashboard and the Facebook equivalent. My only complaint is the amount of repetition within the course itself. Perhaps inevitable since privacy, reputation, and identity overlap.

4 out of 5 stars

February 26, 2018

Great discussion, but I would have liked more links to background information.

5 out of 5 stars

January 23, 2018

Great topics, we can protect own choices. A start long way of privacy.

5 out of 5 stars

December 6, 2017

I really enjoyed the course. As a professional who interacts with computers daily and for work, I learned how important privacy, reputation, and identity are. This information will help me inform friends and other employees how important these ideas are to their lives and what they should watch out for.