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Press Release:
Privacy expert to discuss PATRIOT Act

February 2004

When you pass a toll booth and toss in a quarter, can that be reported to law enforcement? Can your cell phone records be used to track where you are travelling? If you file for bankruptcy, could your financial records become part of court documents available on the Internet?

The answer to all these questions is yes. The rise of sophisticated data measurement tools have made it possible. The passage of the PATRIOT Act has raised additional concerns about privacy.

On March 1, attorney David Sobel will speak about the influence of technology and the PATRIOT Act on records policy, particularly with regard to colleges and universities. His speech at the ASU Memorial Union at 6 p.m. will open ECURE 2004, an international conference on electronic records in higher education. The conference will be held March 1-3 on the ASU campus.

In his last appearance at ASU in 2002, Sobel reported that the problems of information management were apparent even before the war on terrorism began. Records "create their own market" and society produces more data than it can measure and evaluate, he said.

Sobel is general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington D.C., a non-profit research organization. Sobel was co- counsel in Reno v. ACLU, the successful constitutional challenge to the Communications Decency Act. He has litigated and participated in many other cases concerning issues such as privacy, free expression, electronic surveillance, and the disclosure of government documents.

Registration for the conference is required to attend the event. For more information on Sobel's speech and the ECURE conference agenda, see www.asu.edu/ecure/.


Jeremy Rowe, ECURE co-chair, jeremy.rowe@asu.edu
Rob Spindler, ECURE co-chair, rob.spindler@asu.edu