Posts Tagged ‘law’

Privacy and the law

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

The ABA Journal news blog has an post, Fordham Law Class Collects Personal Info About Scalia; Supreme Ct. Justice Is Steamed, on privacy and the law — or at least one very famous lawyer: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Joel Reidenberg teaches a course on information privacy law at Fordham University and illustrates the scale of the problem empirically.

“Last year, when law professor Joel Reidenberg wanted to show his Fordham University class how readily private information is available on the Internet, he assigned a group project. It was collecting personal information from the Web about himself. This year, after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made public comments that seemingly may have questioned the need for more protection of private information, Reidenberg assigned the same project. Except this time Scalia was the subject, the prof explains to the ABA Journal in a telephone interview.

His class turned in a 15-page dossier that included not only Scalia’s home address, home phone number and home value, but his food and movie preferences, his wife’s personal e-mail address and photos of his grandchildren, reports Above the Law.

And, as Scalia himself made clear in a statement to Above the Law, he isn’t happy about the invasion of his privacy: “Professor Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any,” the justice says, among other comments.