Panel discussion: “Your life is an Open (Face)book: Privacy in the Digital Age,” March 31

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KINGSTON, R.I. — March 10, 2010 — University of Rhode Island library information literacy instructors will hold a panel discussion, “Your life is an Open (Face)book: Privacy in the Digital Age.” Free and open to the public, the talk is on Wednesday, March 31, 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Swan Hall Auditorium, 60 Upper College Road on the Kingston campus.

The forum will explore privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but which some say are being tested by digital technologies such as social networks, electronic surveillance systems, consumer loyalty cards, airport body imaging scanners, and other data collection and manipulation techniques used by organizations and government. The panelists are:

• Robert Ellis Smith has been publisher of Privacy Journal since 1974 and is a nationally recognized expert on privacy and computer records. He has written several books on privacy including, Ben Franklin’s Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity From Plymouth Rock to the Internet (2000 and 2004), and has been selected twice to write the definition of privacy for the World Book Encyclopedia.

• Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch has advocated for civil rights and improved legal protections for young people, especially those involving social networks. His department oversees prosecution of online consumer fraud as well as criminal cases involving online bullying, identity theft, child pornography, and domestic violence.

• Jason Pina, newly appointed URI assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will outline student privacy rights in light of the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA) and the collection and maintenance of student records.

For more information about the panel discussion please contact URI Humanities Reference Librarian Jim Kinnie, (401) 874-9240,

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