Spring Symposium 2014

Data Privacy & Transparency in Private and Government Data Collection

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Data privacy is a current hot topic of discussion among legal scholars, public policy makers, practicing attorneys, businesspersons, and consumers alike. Recently, the large-scale consumer data breach at Target raised concerns over the adequacy of consumer information protections. Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks made us reassess the government’s data collection program and whether collections should be limited or at least disclosed to the public. Such events have forced policy makers and scholars to discuss what kind of legal reforms or procedures must be put into place protect the public’s private data from abuse.

While data-collection programs have sparked serious concern about personal privacy rights, data collection, in particular “Big Data,” has various beneficial and profitable uses. Large pools of consumer and public data can be assessed to discover certain patterns and correlations to help private entities and the government to make better decisions when serving consumers and the general public

To protect consumer and public information, some critics have called for new federal regulation. Others demand limitations on the quality and quantity of permissible data to be collected. In contrast to these proposed protections, AELJ’s symposium will focus on the role of transparency, disclosure, and notice practices during data collections, and if such transparent practices would serve as a better safeguard to ameliorate data privacy concerns while balancing the interest of the public with those of the government and private data collectors.

This symposium has been approved for 3.0 New York State CLE credits in the category “Areas of Professional Practice.”

Symposium Schedule

9:00 am – Registration & Breakfast

9:30 am – Introductory Remarks

9:35 am – Panel 1: Disclosure and Notice Practices in Private Data Collection

Panelists: Lorrie Cranor, Ryan Harkins, and Helen Nissenbaum

Moderator: Brett Frischmann

Panel 1 will focus on data collection by private entities and their disclosure and notice procedures. It will explore whether new forms of notice might succeed where old ones have failed. It will also discuss the impact of Big Data on consumers and if disclosure practices, new or old, could actually help alleviate data privacy concerns.

11:10 am – Panel 2: Balancing National Security and Transparency in Government Data Collection 

Panelists: Nate Cardozo, Mariko Hirose, Ira Rubinstein, and Christopher Wolf

Moderator: Jonathan Manes

Panel 2 will discuss the government surveillance programs and the backlash as a result of the NSA’s surveillance programs. In particular, the panel will focus on the NSA’s surveillance gag orders and the disclosure and notice practices that have been implemented by major online service providers, as well as the practices that those providers have advocated, to make their users aware of the government’s requests. The panel will explore the role of transparency in the national security context, what types of government disclosures should be required in this context, and whether transparency can serve as an effective safeguard for civil liberties.

12:30 pm – Closing Remarks

12:35 pm – Lunch

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