A couple weeks ago, a Brandeis senior, Tova Perlman discovered that the Google Calendars of student and faculty were accessible by the whole university. That means that anyone on the Brandeis network could see people’s schedule or even more personal information, such as sensitive notes taken by counselors or advisors. Word got around, and eventually someone from the Justice was notified and wrote an expose, but without citing her as having discovered it. I’d love to get interviews from Tova Perlman, the writers of the Justice article–Avraham Penso and Chaiel Schaffel—and people who were affected by their personal information being released. I’d also want to talk to administrators or IT professionals to get a better understanding of who was responsible for this feature, or at least why there were not precautions taken so this didn’t happen. Tensions relating to privacy issues and issues of credit being given will hopefully allow for a powerful story to be shot.
The second pitch will take more research to be sure of which direction I want to go in. I have been volunteering weekly at a day shelter in Waltham for people experiencing food and housing insecurity for a few years. I’d love to talk to one person about his/her story, and maybe focus on the issue that this day center (called the CDC) will not be operating a winter night shelter this year, and what that means for him/her. I could also do one on how different resource—such as the day shelter, police, and programs—do/don’t help people experiencing housing insecurity in Waltham. This might have roadblocks too, however. I’d need to make sure that people were comfortable being interviewed, which might not be the case. But there could be some really powerful visual footage of the subject’s daily experiences.