Policies without the privacy

social media privacy policy table

Taylor Robinson, Erik Morris | Washtenaw Voice

By Taylor Robinson
Staff Writer


In early February, news began to spread about Samsung television microphones recording more than just typical voice commands.

Samsung simply replied that the user can deactivate this feature along with completely deactivating the ability for voice recognition. They also made it clear that consumers were not blind-sighted and the information was provided within the privacy policy.

This raises questions about privacy policies in general. Is the intent of these policies to protect the consumer or the company?

According to a 2012 article in “The Atlantic,” it would take the average person approximately eight hours a day for 76 days straight to read all of the content provided by the average number of privacy policies they encounter in one year.

Oh, privacy policies. The barriers for every downloadable application on a smartphone device. Every day, at all times of the day, millions of people stay constantly connected to the Internet via their cellphones and other small devices.

While apps continue to make accessing information easier for the consumer, it also becomes easier for advertisers and other unknown third parties to access personal information.

Washtenaw Community College’s web design and development instructor, Kelley Gottschang, is no stranger to the concerns over privacy policies.

“The problem with these little devices is that they start to become you. I love my device. People sleep with their device. They put it under their pillow. It’s never more than a foot away from them,” Gottschang said. “This whole thing is you. It goes where you go and leaves a trail.”

When agreeing to a privacy policy, the application will ask for access regarding certain information including and not limited to the person’s contacts, photos, location, media files, identity, microphone, camera, and so on. While some apps find this necessary for protection, sometimes more harm is being done than help.

Ashlee Rothfuss, 20-year-old graphic design major from Manchester is familiar with Apple and Android devices. Now an Android user, she commented that Android applications are much more blunt when it comes to the information being accessed. A drop down list appears briefly explaining the terms and conditions for downloading that app. Apple on the other hand, gives the long-winded version. “I like the Android better. I feel like they are more upfront. It will give you bigger hints such as using your contacts or messaging. Apple just gives you the straight up policy that nobody wants to read so you just hit ‘Accept,’” said Rothfuss.

Women in IT

By Taylor Mabelitini


The Washtenaw Community College Student Resource and Women’s Center along with Career Services and WCC faculty will be hosting a “Women in IT” event, highlighting the career opportunities available in the IT field and giving students insight into WCC’s current IT program, including web development and system administration, as well computer science, networking, and programming. Sue Schade, chief information officer at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, and recipient of the 2014 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year Award, will be the keynote speaker. All are welcome, and lunch will be provided.


When: Thursday, March 26

Where: Morris Lawrence building

Time: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., registration begins at 10:15 a.m.

RSVP: http://wccnet.edu/womeninit by March 19

For more info: Call WCC Career Services at 734-677-5155


5 things you missed at the Feb. 24 board of trustees meeting

By Paulette Parker, News Editor
and Taylor Robinson, Staff Writer


  1. College hires advanced transportation director

Alan Lecz, previously director of employer strategies at the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, was hired as the director for WCC’s prospective Advanced Transportation Center. He will be paid $104,000 annually.

  1. WCC receives $3 million skilled trades grant

As a part of Gov. Snyder’s $50 million skilled trades grant program, WCC will receive $3 million to purchase equipment for educational programs that emphasize high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand occupations.

  1. Board approves VPI search firm contract

The board of trustees approved a $53,000 contract with RPA Inc. to aid in the search for a new vice president of instruction. It is expected that a permanent VPI be in place for the start of the fall 2015 semester.

  1. Amendments to affirmative action policy approved

Amendments to the policy include an emphasis on nondiscrimination against any person “because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” The changes add that women and minorities employed by the college align with the employed population of Washtenaw County. 

  1. Board approves amendments to investment policy

Previously, community colleges were permitted by law to invest only in bonds, bills or notes of only the U.S. Treasury or the State of Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/treasury. Recent changes to the law allow the policy to change to permit investments in local governments, municipalities, school districts and other qualified, local investments to attain higher rates of return.

The Mar. 9, page A1 story “5 things you missed at the Feb. 24 board of trustees meeting,” should have stated that WCC received a $4.4 million skilled trades grant.

Fundraiser for United Way

On Tuesday, March 17, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., on the first floor of the Student Center, students will be able to purchase tickets, two for $1, for root beer floats, cookie decorating, bead necklaces and clover-grams. Proceeds go to WCC’s campaign for the United Way. http://www.unitedway.org

Sessions for Secondary Education Students

By Abbey Jacobsen

Secondary education students who would like to learn more about the steps they need to take to accomplish the program can attend a seminar in Washtenaw’s Liberal Arts and Sciences building on Thursday March 12. The seminar will be held at 12:30-1:30 p.m. in LA 254 and again at 5:30-6:30 p.m. in LA 256. Seats are limited, so those interested must reserve space at http://www.wccnet.edu/ed-advising. For more information, contact Kim Groce, HBSS Divisional Counselor at kgroce@wccnet.edu.

Spring career fair

Dozens of employers will visit Washtenaw’s campus hoping to recruit talented students on Tuesday, March 17 from 1-4 p.m. in the Morris Lawrence building. Employers will be looking for applicants to fill positions including: sales department manager, home furnishing sales, cook/assistant cook, maintenance technician, certified nurse assistant and network field engineers.

Job seekers should bring several copies of their resumes and dress professionally.

Calling all entrepreneurs

WCC’s Entrepreneurship Center will hold a grand opening reception on Tuesday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Plant Operations Building. Tours of the center will be held until 7 p.m. food will be provided by former and current WCC entrepreneurs.

Have a great teacher?

Students can nominate faculty and staff who have made an impact on them and shown a great commitment to serving students for a Bravo award. Nominations are taken through March 16, and selected nominees will receive recognition and a prize. To submit a nomination, visit http://tinyurl.com/WCCBravoAward15.

Intramural sports

Tennis: Starting on March 16, intramural tennis will be held on Mondays from 9 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Chippewa Tennis Club on Golfside Drive. Students can register through March 13 at noon in the Club Sports office on the first floor of the Student Center.

Flag football: On March 18, WCC kicks off the spring flag football season. Students can register in the Club Sports office.

Become a WCC student ambassador

The New Student Programming department is looking for ambassadors for the 2015-16 academic year. These ambassadors assist with orientation sessions for new students and other campus events, lead campus tours, share experiences through social media and act as mentors to other students.

Those interested can apply at https://jobs.wccnet.edu.