Identity Theft & Security Breach Symposium

Attention: Technology, business and legal writers and editors

WHAT: A one-day symposium on identity theft and security breaches.  Experts from law, government, computer science, and economics will discuss laws that protect personal information and suggest reforms to strengthen them. Although most agree that reforms are needed, leading thinkers clash on what the solutions should be. Questions remain concerning the scope of security breach laws, their effectiveness, and cost. Critics argue that notification laws are wasteful and that most breaches aren’t connected to identity theft.  Supporters say the laws create vital incentives to safeguard information and reveal hidden cracks in security. 
The symposium begins with a session on California’s security breach law and continues with a look at current research and proposed reforms by the state’s top policy makers and scholars.
Conference Information and agenda is online at:

WHEN: Friday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
WHO: A sample of conference participants and their topics include:
Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto); author of California’s security breach notification law and keynote speaker on SB20, a proposed update to the original 2003 bill;
Joanne McNabb, chief, California Office of Privacy Protection, on the impact of the state’s security policies;
Reece Hirsch, partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, on security breach law;
Deirdre Mulligan, assistant professor, UC Berkeley School of Information, on corporate investments in security;
Peter Swire, professor of law, Ohio State University, on security breaches caused by insiders using data improperly;
Paul Schwartz, professor of law, UC Berkeley; director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; moderator.
DETAILS: The program is free for public interest groups and media. Registration required by the general public.  For more info, go to
BACKGROUND: In 2003, California led the nation in enacting Security Breach Notification (SBN) laws, which require many businesses and government agencies to alert consumers when personal information has been lost or stolen.  In the past six years, many breaches—compromising hundreds of millions of records about individuals—have been disclosed,  While some policymakers want to strengthen laws that protect information, others say stronger laws are expensive and ineffective.
The conference is sponsored by: Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; Berkeley Technology Law Journal; Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic; and the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology.