Fordham Law School's Center
for Law and Information Policy has announced and released a
first-ever curriculum for privacy education geared to middle school
students. The program was financed by a court-approved settlement in the
class action law suit against NebuAd. Fordham Law student volunteers
taught a pilot program last spring at PS191 in New York City, and now
Fordham CLIP is launching a partnership with volunteers from about a
dozen law schools who will teach the program in middle schools across
the country. Fordham CLIP is making the curriculum available as a set
of free open source documents on the CLIP website to any educators
who want to use the instructional materials to address the many privacy
issues teens face as their use of technology skyrockets.
"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, Fordham Law professor 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."
Jordan Kovnot '11, an associate at the law firm Olender Feldman and
former Fordham CLIP Privacy Fellow, developed the program during the
course of his fellowship last year and supervised the group of volunteer
Fordham law students who taught the program last spring to a class of
7th graders at PS191 in Manhattan. The program features a set of
one-hour long sessions covering topics such as: 1) privacy basics; 2)
how to deal with passwords and behavioral ads; 3) navigating social
media and tricky situations; 4) understanding mobile, WiFi and facial
recognition; and 5) managing a digital reputation.
"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."
Fordham CLIP has enlisted law schools and universities from around the
country to teach the program for free in their communities starting next
spring. Participating students and faculty include the following
schools: Berkeley Law, UC-Irvine, Georgetown, Harvard's Berkman Center,
Idaho, Northern Kentucky, Princeton's Center for Information Technology
Policy, Roger Williams, Seattle, Suffolk, Tulane, Washington
University-St. Louis, and Yale.
The need for this type of education is revealed by recent reports from
the Pew Research Center that 93% of teens ages 12 to 17 go online, 53%
of teens post their email address online, 20% post their cell phone
number and 33% are connected online to people they have never met. View
the Pew Research Center report.
Peter Pochna, 212-843-8007