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Privacy Issues Take Center Stage at Upcoming Berkeley Law Events

By Andrew Cohen

In conjunction with “Data Privacy Day” Thursday, Berkeley Law will host two major privacy law events this week at Booth Auditorium. Created by The Privacy Projects, a nonprofit think tank and research organization, Data Privacy Day is billed as an international celebration of individual dignity expressed through personal information.

Thursday, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) roundtable will explore privacy challenges posed by technology and business practices that involve collecting and using consumer data. Friday, the California Law Review will host “Prosser’s Privacy at 50,” a full-day symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of former Berkeley Law Dean William Prosser’s landmark article—one of the most cited in law review history.

Hosted by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT), Thursday’s FTC roundtable will address the privacy implications of technology, social networking, and cloud and mobile computing. Panelists include some of the nation’s leading consumer protection officials, government policymakers, chief privacy officers, practicing attorneys, and academics. The list features BCLT’s Chris Hoofnagle, Paul Schwartz, and Deirdre Mulligan, and representatives from Intel, AT&T, Microsoft, Yahoo!, U.S. PIRG, Nokia, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The program marks the second of three FTC roundtables, which aim to determine how best to protect consumer privacy while supporting beneficial uses of the information and technological innovation. The session agenda is available here, and biographies of scheduled speakers here. Free and open to the public and media, the event can also be seen on a live Webcast.

At the “Prosser’s Privacy at 50” symposium Friday, top privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world will gather for the 50th anniversary of Prosser’s seminal article to examine the state of privacy law today—and what it may look like 50 years from now.

The panel includes scholars from three foreign universities, Schwartz, and fellow Berkeley Law professor Stephen Sugarman. Registration for the CLE-credit event is available here, and questions can be sent to California Law Review Editor-in-Chief Jonas Lerman ’10 at jonaslerman@gmail.com.

The California Law Review will involve its members in all aspects of the symposium, including writing short response pieces to panel discussions for online publication at californialawreview.org.

1/26/2010