Monday, November 28, 2011

Conference on Privacy and the Challenge of Technology

The Information Ethics Roundtable
Conference on Privacy and the Challenge of Technology
Hunter College
New York, New York
April 27, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Helen Nissenbaum, (Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU), author of Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford Law, 2010)

Invited speaker: James Stacey Taylor (Philosophy, Religion, and Classical Studies, College of New Jersey), author of Stakes and Kidneys: Why Markets in Human Body Parts are a Moral Imperative (Ashgate, 2005).

In one sense information technology has been a boon for privacy. For instance, ATMs and online banking mean that we seldom have to present ourselves to a teller. Online shopping offers similar benefits. However, technology can also pose a serious threat to privacy, since so much of what we now do leaves an enduring digital record. This information can then be recombined to create detailed personal profiles that could not have emerged in pre-digital days. Moreover, this information can be distributed far, wide, and immediately without our consent or even knowledge.

Information ethics studies the value questions that arise from the creation, control, and access to information. The Information Ethics Roundtable is a yearly conference that brings together philosophers, information scientists, librarians, and social scientists to discuss ethical issues such as intellectual property, intellectual freedom, and censorship. This year's conference will address conceptual, empirical, and ethical issues related to privacy and the connection between privacy and information technology. Questions addressed will include:

Is privacy valuable?
To what extent does privacy benefit from technology?
To what extent is privacy threatened by technology?
When is the sharing of others' personal information appropriate or inappropriate?
To what extent is privacy law keeping up with changes in technology?
Should people generally enjoy a high degree of anonymity when in public?
Does privacy have a future?

Submit an abstract of up to 500 words on any of the above or closely related topics. E-mail submissions to Include your full name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. Address any queries about the conference to Tony Doyle at the address given above.

Submission Deadline: January 2, 2012

Acceptance Notification: January 31, 2012