Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Savannah Cragin SURF SMART

I Regret To Inform You That Your Private Information Has Been Compromised

Privacy is one of the central issues of our time. All things being equal, we assume that most people prefer privacy; it is a foundational right enshrined in the penumbras of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments of the U.S. constitution as well as in several state constitutions (including those of California, Massachusetts, and Washington) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite our appreciation of privacy, police officers wear body cameras, customer loyalty programs track purchases, and the Transportation Safety Administration performs full body scans. This paradox illuminates the deep ambivalence in modern American society about privacy, and a largely untapped area of research in sociology. This research seeks to understand the deeper cultural logics inherent in shifting views on privacy in the modern world as well as the evolution of its meaning historically in the U.S. context.

Message To Sponsor

I cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity to research privacy-related issues in the digital age with the help of the SURF-SMART program. Having worked on the subject in previous semesters at Cal, I know how important issues of privacy are, especially with the feelings of indifference my generation continues to exhibit towards privacy. Throughout this entire process, I have learned various professional skills in conjunction with the SURF team, allowing me to grow as both a scholar and a well-informed, ethically guided member of society. Again, thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. I plan to take these skills with me throughout my journey in the professional realm and throughout my everyday interactions as a Cal student.
Profile image of Savannah Cragin
Major: Media Studies
Mentor: Naniette Coleman
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