Fordham Launches Online Privacy and Technology Law CLE Program


“The contemporary questions about technology and privacy as they relate to COVID-19 are extremely important,” says Fordham Law Professor Olivier Sylvain, reflecting on how the coronavirus crisis has moved business and education online. 

Olivier Sylvain

To examine how the current moment has changed regulation of personal information and privacy, Sylvain, director of the McGannon Center and Nestor Davidson, Fordham’s Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law, have created a weeklong event, entitled “Current Issues in Privacy and Technology Law.” The program launches today and continues through July 24.

Speakers will discuss legal issues related to both government surveillance, commercial uses of data, and privacy law issues. “The overlap that’s important to think about is the ways in which private actors collaborate with governments generally and what the data protection problems are in those settings,” explains Sylvain. 

Each day, a different legal scholar or practitioner will give a lecture on their work, followed by a Q&A discussion. “The program balances straight content with a really interesting mix of conversations,” adds Davidson. 

Nestor Davidson

Nestor Davidson

The final day of the event will consider the new privacy and security issues that have emerged during the coronavirus crisis, and Lynn Haaland, chief compliance and ethics officer at Zoom, will speak. Haaland also taught a foundational compliance course at Fordham during the most recent spring semester. “Technology has been the way that we’ve responded to this moment,” emphasizes Davidson. Sylvain agrees, citing as an example a collaboration between Google and Apple to develop a contact tracing application, which the tech companies are now promoting. 

Other speakers include: Ellen Goodman, professor of law at Rutgers Law School; Katja Langenbucher, professor of law at Goethe University; Frank Pasquale, professor of law, Brooklyn Law School; and Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., U.S. magistrate judge in the Eastern District of New York.

“This event is for people who are interested in both the promise and perils of a world in which we have used information to respond to a public health crisis that we certainly haven’t seen before in our lifetimes,” notes Davidson. “I think grappling with the legal and underlying regulatory- and privacy-based concerns is really critical.”

However, emerging technologies are always accompanied by a host of regulatory issues, says Sylvain, remarking, “These issues are interesting to people, and we don’t necessarily have clear answers.”

The five-day event will offer CLE credit for attendees. Register for the event here.


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