2012 State of the Net Conference

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
11:30 am Geolocation, Jones and the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy


- Stewart Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP [bio]
- Kashmir Hill, Staff Writer, Forbes Magazine [bio]
- Tim Lordan, Executive Director, Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee - (Moderator) [bio]
- Andrew McLaughlin, Vice President, Tumblr [bio]
- Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law, The George Washington University [bio]

Just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in U.S. v. Jones, in which law enforcement used geolocation technology to monitor a criminal suspect on public roads. Although the justices may fail to provide definitive answers, the case raises profound questions about how technologies such as GPS, facial recognition and other tracking technologies -- both private and public -- are transforming the nature of privacy. Further, the Court may or may not examine the term of art "reasonable expectation of privacy" (REP), which is often cited in almost any digital privacy discussion. For instance, is it reasonable to expect privacy from tracking our movements on city streets when we broadcast our location on FourSquare and Gowalla to hundreds of our followers? Is it reasonable to expect that the FBI won't create dossiers of our private lives when anyone on Match.com can compile a dossier on his or her blind date on Saturday night? If our email providers can provide advertisements within the body of our emails does that mean that we can reasonably expect the government to access the content of our personal messages? Is our normative acceptance of these new commercial technologies -- technologies that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined -- transforming our constitutional privacy rights? And, what about other technologies such as facial recognition, drone technology and cookies? Our panel of experts will debate the major implications of the Jones case and also look at the effect our adoption of new Internet technologies is having on commercial and constitutional privacy.

* Subject to change. More panels and keynotes may be added. Contact Cat Matsuda for more information.

This is a widely attended event hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC), part of a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. The ICAC is a private sector organization comprised of public interest groups, trade associations, non-profits, and industry leaders. The diversity of ICAC membership ensures that all educational events and initiatives are fair and balanced forums for Internet-related discussion. The ICAC does not promote any particular policy position.