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Privacy and the Internet

Privacy and the Internet

Public Policy Lecture Series

“To read the privacy policies of the 40 most popular websites in the world would take an individual 30 full working days a year" — Fred Cate

As an introduction to the new Public Policy Program, Lake Forest College will be hosting a series of public policy lectures. This year’s lectures will focus on the topic of Privacy and the Internet, which is also the topic students will confront in the inaugural Public Policy Analysis Challenge. The lectures will be given by government, industry, and academic leaders involved with privacy and the internet to provide background and insights on issues concerning privacy and the internet. 

The first lecture in this series will be given by Fred Cate, the C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law at the Indiana University Mauer School of Law. His lecture will focus on privacy and consent. 


All industries are governed by rules, regulations, and limitations. Knowing how to navigate and understand these policies is a crucial skill in any field, which is why Lake Forest College has introduced a new public policy minor, available to all undergraduates beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.

An intensely interdisciplinary practice, the public policy minor teaches students to analyze relevant data, engage with policymakers, and adapt to constantly shifting conditions. The minor puts engagement with policy in practice with yearly programming of guest lectures featuring experts in the field, a Policy Incubator, and a Policy Challenge. Our inaugural year centers around Privacy and the Internet.

Upcoming Events

Fred Cate

Privacy and Consent in the Digital Age

Speaker: Fred Cate
7–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27

at the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel

Privacy and Consent in the Digital Age

Professor Fred Cate will speak on legal issues regarding privacy vis‐à‐vis technology and the Internet, including the legal issues regarding the pervasiveness, legality, and enforcement of consent agreements. He will define privacy from a legal point of view and frame important questions regarding privacy, such as “Who should protect privacy?” and “How should the law view data, including its creation, storage, usage, and monetization?” He will also provide an up‐to‐date summary of privacy laws across the United States, including the California Privacy Rights Act. 

Read more about Fred Cate here.

Reserve your seat here.

John Nealson

An International Comparison of Privacy Rights

Speaker: John Nealson
7–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11

at the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel

An International Comparison of Privacy Rights

John Nealon’s lecture will illuminate the tradeoffs of treating privacy as a right versus as protecting privacy with laws. He will compare and contrast the general state of affairs in the European Union, United States, and China. Important policy issues of the 2000s will be presented with examples that span all three locations, such as automated decision‐making (autonomous cars; CCTV; automated weaponry).

Read more about John Nealon here.

Reserve your seat here.

Rebecca Richards

Privacy, Civil Liberties, and the NSA

Speaker: Rebecca Richards
7–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1

at the Gorton Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest

Privacy, Civil Liberties, and the NSA

Rebecca Richards’ lecture will frame issues regarding the legal, practical, and political trade‐offs between individual privacy and national security and the challenges of protecting both. She will also provide insights into government transparency and accountability in the realm of privacy in the 21st century.

Read more about Rebecca Richards here.

Reserve your seat here.

Alan Butler

Consumer Privacy and Corporate Surveillance

Speaker: Alan Butler
7–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6

at the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel

Consumer Privacy and Corporate Surveillance

Alan Butler’s lecture will center on privacy issues related to consumer data collection and corporate surveillance. His lecture will include a review and assessment of consumer privacy issues that have and are making their way through the courts as well as the issues that are likely to be debated by Congress. 

Read more about Alan Butler here.

Reserve your seat here.

students dissecting a brain

Public Policy Analysis Challenge

Tuesday, May 2

The Public Policy Analysis Challenge welcomes entries from current Lake Forest College students working in teams of two to four, with each team mentored by a faculty member. Teams compete for significant cash prizes by researching and analyzing that year’s topic, by evaluating policy options for the particular problem or opportunity the team has chosen to address, and by making a specific policy recommendation. 

Learn more here.

the scales of justice

Learn more about our
Public Policy Minor

Lake Forest College offers a minor in public policy so students who dream of making the world a better place can learn how to bring about change.

Learn more here.