Join our conversation: a multidisplinary, community-oriented symposium for the 21st. Century


Why the “Reasonable Expectation of Privacy”?

— These days, everyone is talking about what we think of as “privacy”: who has it; who has lost it; who threatens it?

— But who among us is clear on what “privacy” really means: where our ideas about it come from; what benefits it entails; what aspects of it law ensures?

— And who understands what we expect when we expect “privacy” today?

Why Now?

— In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court “redefined the Fourth Amendment” (in Justice Black’s phrase) to bring within its protection the individual’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

— The new constitutional standard produced an unprecedented outpouring of analysis – from legal scholars, political theorists, philosophers, social commentators, and artists.

— But how well did the Court and its commentators understand the effects of an emerging technology on the constitution’s power to protect?

— Now the Supreme Court again seems ready to redefine the parameters of Fourth Amendment protection: will the Court protect what we have come to think of as “privacy” or something else?

— Most importantly, what will be the role of technology in arriving at that redefinition?

Why The Conversation?

— Among hundreds of assessments of the “reasonable expectation of privacy,” one commentator posed a profound and troubling question.

— Francis Coppola asked: “If the constitution protects the individual’s ‘reasonable expectation of privacy,’ what protection remains to the individual who recognizes that – given technology’s growing capacity to collect and store data – nothing is private?”

— Then, in visuals that evoke the very words of the courts and commentators, Coppola gave us an answer: forty years later, it remains the response for our times.

Why This Symposium?    

— We have assembled leading authorities in the most relevant fields: constitutional law, political history, privacy litigation, technology policy, social research, and the arts;

— We have collected and contextualized the written materials that gave rise to our current understanding of “privacy;”

— We have arranged to provide five hours of no-cost MCLE credit for lawyers;

— We’re free; we’re engaged; and we’re eager to have you this essential conversation.


Please register here.     


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