This lecture is part of a series organised in collaboration with the The Oxford Internet Institute
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Teeming with chat rooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there's a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false—will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. Children and teenagers are increasingly spilling out their most personal secrets—as well as intimate details about their families and friends—in blogs and social networking sites. In a world where anybody can publish her thoughts to a world-wide audience, how should we balance privacy and free speech? How should the law protect people when harmful gossip and rumors are spread about them on the Internet?
Daniel J. Solove is a Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. An internationally-known expert in privacy law, Solove is the author of several books, including Understanding Privacy (Harvard 2008), The Future of Reputation: Gossip and Rumor in the Information Age (Yale 2007) (winner of the 2007 McGannon Award), and The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age (NYU 2004). Professor Solove is also the author of a textbook, Information Privacy Law with Aspen Publishing Co. now in its third edition, with co-author Paul Schwartz. Solove has published more than 30 articles and essays, which have appeared in leading law reviews such as the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, NYU Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Duke Law Journal. Professor Solove has testified before Congress and has been interviewed and featured in several hundred media broadcasts and articles, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and NPR. A graduate of Yale Law School, he clerked for Judge Stanley Sporkin, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Pamela Ann Rymer, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He also worked at the law firm Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC. Professor Solove teaches information privacy law, criminal procedure, criminal law, and law and literature. He blogs at http://www.concurringopinions.com, which in 2007 and 2008 was selected by the ABA Journal as among the 100 best law blogs.