Social Networks and Our Privacy

(Left to right) School of Applied Technology Dean C. Robert Carlson, Chicago-Kent Distinguished Professor of Law Lori Andrews, and Information Technology Management Industry Professor William Lidinsky

Lori Andrews, Distinguished Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, recently presented “How Social Networks are Changing Our Lives and Our Culture” as part of the Speakers Series at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Rice Campus in Wheaton on Thursday, April 12. Her presentation was followed by a meet and greet reception and a book signing.

Andrews’ presentation discussed how Facebook, Google and other companies collect information that can reveal a lot about the individual, including many private issues. She discussed prospective employers asking for Facebook passwords during interviews, college admissions rejecting applicants because of information found on social networks, marketing companies collecting information about you based on your travels on the Web. Offline, we all have established legal rights — from the right to privacy to the right to a fair trial; but Social Networks are turning those rights upside down.

As many individuals have already learned the hard way, the same power of information sharing that can topple governments can also topple a person’s career, marriage, finances, or even his or her future. Lori Andrews described how our digital identities on the Web (email, personal websites, and social media pages) are starting to overshadow our physical identities, and what we can do about it.

Andrews’ work assesses the social impact of emerging technologies. She directs the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and is the author of 11 non-fiction books and 3 mystery novels. Her most recent book is I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.

The next session in IIT’s School of Applied Technology Speakers Series is “Programming Your Home” on Thursday, June 7, 2012. The event is free and open to the public. Additional details available here.