URI hosts Internet privacy expert Sept. 9

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Harvard professor Harry Lewis is first cybersecurity speaker


KINGSTON, R.I. – September 3, 2014 – Harry Lewis, an expert on the Internet and its consequences for individual privacy, will be the first speaker in the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.


Lewis will pose the tough questions we are facing about privacy and freedom in the digital age in his lecture titled, “Too Much Information?” which will take place in Edwards Auditorium, 64 Upper College Road, on URI’s Kingston Campus.

The Internet authority’s talk is the first in the series, Cybersecurity and Privacy, which is free and open to the public. Cox Business is the presenting sponsor.


Lewis is the Gordon McKay professor of computer science at Harvard University and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He is the author of “Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty and Happiness After the Internet Explosion.”

Lewis will discuss how the digital revolution democratized the creation and communication of all kinds of information, and how society has grown to love being connected round the clock. But Lewis says everything that connects us also tracks us, and that the vast troves of detailed information we willingly provide about our movements, purchases and proclivities are passed to governments, marketers, employers and insurers and saved forever.


“Harry Lewis will provide a survey of the field and set the tone for the colloquium,” said Ed Lamagna, URI professor of computer science and one of four coordinators for the University’s 2014 Honors Colloquium.


“Once upon a time, (data) storage was expensive,” Lamagna said. Now storage is cheap, and so things that we do and buy are being monitored and saved. When you browse in a bookstore, no one really knows what you are looking for, although there are security cameras. But when you browse at Amazon, they know about the kinds of books you want and the interests you have, and that information can be used for the company’s gain. Google probably knows more about you than your spouse does.”


Click here for a full schedule of Cybersecurity and Privacy speakers.


Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online at URI Live!


Presenting Sponsor: Cox Business


Major Sponsors: 
URI Honors Program.


Sponsors: 
URI Office of the President;
URI Office of the Provost;
The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment;
The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment;
URI College of Human Science and Services;
URI Talent Development;
URI Multicultural Center;
URI College of Arts & Sciences;
URI Harrington School of Communications and Media;
URI John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service;
URI College of Pharmacy;
URI College of Engineering;
URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences;
URI College of Nursing;
URI College of Business Administration;
URI Division of Student Affairs;
URI Department of Communications and Marketing;
URI Department of Publications and Services;
URI ITS Instructional Technology and Media Services


Pictured above

Harry Lewis

Photo courtesy of Harry Lewis