NKU Chase College of Law partners to develop national educational program on Internet privacy for middle school students

For immediate release…
Monday – Oct. 14, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, through the NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute, has partnered with Fordham Law School's Center for Law and Information Policy and select other law schools to develop a new Internet privacy education program for middle school students.

Fordham law student volunteers taught a pilot program last spring at PS191 in New York City. The program addresses the many privacy issues faced by teens as their use of technology skyrockets. Using the curriculum developed by Fordham, Chase student volunteers will teach the program at one or more area middle schools next spring. The program will also be taught in middle schools across the United States by law students from 14 other schools including Harvard, Yale, U.C. Berkeley, Princeton and Georgetown.

"The online environment is part of our lives beginning at a very early age," said Jon Garon, a professor at Chase and founding director of the Law + Informatics Institute. "As educators, we must help prepare students to make good choices when online and to fully understand the online environment. This program helps teachers, parents and their students manage the Internet and mobile devices."

Session topics include privacy basics: how to deal with passwords and behavioral ads; navigating social media and tricky situations; understanding mobile, Wi-Fi and facial recognition; and managing a digital reputation. "As online technologies become a key feature in young teens' lives, parents and educators must teach teens about the privacy and safety implications of these technologies," said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham Law School and founding director of CLIP. "We've designed a program and enlisted a team of volunteers to help educate children about how to use these devices safely, so they don't make mistakes that can impact them for many years."

"Our middle school students were challenged to think about privacy in their everyday lives," said Nichole Gagnon, the PS191 classroom teacher for the pilot class. "Many teens believe that because they are communicating through their own personal accounts, phones and computers that it is private. While interacting with the law students, they soon realized that nothing that is public can be private at the same time."

The need for this type of education is highlighted by recent reports from the Pew Research Center that 93 percent of teens ages 12-17 go online, 53 percent of teens post their email address online, 20 percent post their cell phone number and 33 percent are connected online to people they have never met. See report at http://www.pewresearch.org/millennials/teen-internet-use-graphic.

The NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute (www.lawandinformatics.org) provides critical interdisciplinary research, coursework and community outreach on issues involving media and information systems and emerging technologies across all areas of law. The Institute works with all fields within the legal profession to explore the legal and societal consequences resulting from creation, acquisition, aggregation, security, manipulation and exploitation of data.

Since 1893, NKU Chase College of Law has educated individuals who make immediate contributions to the legal profession and to their communities. With a collegial, student-centered environment in full-time and part-time programs, Chase provides an intellectually rigorous education in legal theory and professional skills; offers practical training through its curricular offerings, co-curricular programs and specialized centers; and instills the ideals of ethics, leadership and public engagement.

To learn more about the program, see http://law.fordham.edu/privacyeducators.

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