Harvard Computer Science Professor Harry Lewis To Address IIT Chicago-Kent Conference On “Internet Privacy, Social Networks & Data Aggregation” March 23

Harry R. Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University

Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, will speak at the opening plenary of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law’s “Internet Privacy, Social Networks and Data Aggregation conference.” The one-day conference will be held March 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in IIT Chicago-Kent’s Governor Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium, 565 West Adams St. (between Clinton and Jefferson streets) in Chicago.

IIT Chicago-Kent’s “Internet Privacy, Social Networks and Data Aggregation” conference will include a wide range of experts in the technology, legal, computer science, information privacy fields who will focus on Internet privacy and the problems created by the intersection of social networks and the burgeoning data aggregation industry.

A member of the Harvard faculty since 1974, Professor Harry Lewis currently is Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Professor Lewis is the author of five books and numerous articles on various aspects of computer science, cyberspace policies, and the social impact of data aggregation. Among his articles are The Internet and Hieronymus Bosch: Fear, Protection, and Liberty in Cyberspace (2011), published in The Harvard Sampler, and Digital Books, published in the International Journal of the Humanities. Professor Lewis is a coauthor, with Hal Abelson and Ken Ledeen, of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (2008), which explains the origins and public consequences of the explosion of digital information.

Professor Lewis has worked extensively on the algorithmic solvability of logical, computational, and combinatorial systems, attempting to clarify the relations between them and to identify their common characteristics. He is also actively involved in the use of computers in education, and his books have had a significant influence on the teaching of the foundations of computer science to undergraduates. During his more than thirty years of teaching, Professor Lewis has helped launch thousands of Harvard undergraduates into careers in computer science. Internet entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are among his former students. (Zuckerberg’s web site, “Six Degrees to Harry Lewis,” was a precursor to Facebook.)

Other conference speakers include privacy researcher and activist Christopher Soghoian, who has been called a “Ralph Nader for the Internet Age” because he’s exposed privacy flaws in Google, Facebook, and other companies; Carnegie Mellon University professor Jon Peha, who has served as chief technologist for the FCC and as assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Justin Brookman, director for the Center for Democracy and Technology’s project on consumer privacy and former chief of the New York Attorney General’s Internet Bureau; Jay Edelson, founder and managing partner of Edelson McGuire, LLC. whose practice areas include technology law, corporate compliance issues and consumer advocacy; and IIT Chicago-Kent professors Lori B. Andrews, Henry H. Perritt, Jr., and Richard Warner.

Among the issues conference participants will discuss are the economic and personal consequences of the ways in which social networks blur the lines between socializing and advertising; the legal remedies that have been effective in protecting online privacy as well as possible alternatives that are being proposed; and the “technological fixes” that could protect privacy on the Web. Participants will create recommendations for consumers, companies, regulators and courts on how best to protect individual privacy interests while fostering the rich flow of information.

There is no fee to attend the conference, but reservations are required. Attorneys who attend are eligible for up to five hours of Illinois Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit. For more information, visit the Center for Information, Society and Policy website. To register, contact cle@kentlaw.edu.