U-M celebrates International Data Privacy Day

January 21, 2019
Written By:
Laurel Thomas


National security surveillance expert to keynote U-M Privacy Day, top privacy researcher to host Reddit Ask Me Anything in back-to-back events Jan. 28-29


  • 1-6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 (Privacy@Michigan Symposium and Research Showcase);
  • 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 (Reddit AMA featuring U-M’s Florian Schaub)


The University of Michigan will host its second annual event to coincide with the International Data Privacy Day, which is designed to spark ongoing, multidisciplinary conversations about privacy’s role in society.

Keynote speaker Sarah St.Vincent, a researcher/advocate from Human Rights Watch, will deliver an address on “Privacy and Power: Why Is Privacy a Constitutional and Human Right?” Her talk will present the idea of privacy as basic to equality.

Prior to her current role, St. Vincent worked as a legal fellow on international human rights and surveillance at the Center for Democracy & Technology, where she promoted reforms to surveillance laws in the United States, United Kingdom and European Union.

Two multidisciplinary panels featuring U-M experts will then focus on “Privacy in public spaces: What is public in the digital age?” and “We value your privacy: Privacy technology in practice.” In a privacy clinic, students will be on hand to help attendees with their privacy questions. A reception and privacy research showcase concludes the event.

Privacy@Michigan is free to the public at Rackham Amphitheatre, 4th Floor, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor (RSVP is encouraged). A livestream will be available at Privacy@Michigan.

Reddit Ask Me Anything
Florian Schaub headshot. source: umsiFlorian Schaub, co-organizer of the campus privacy event, is an assistant professor at U-M’s School of Information. His research centers on various aspects of privacy. Among other topics, he has published on the consumer response to the Equifax data breach, usability issues of privacy settings and controls, impact of the new European General Data Protection Regulation, and privacy risks of smart speakers.

Schaub will spend time on the social media site Reddit answering questions from those interested in talking about privacy concerns inherent with use of smart devices, social media platforms and the internet in general. Schaub has interesting insights about how pervasive these devices are, the current status of policy in Europe and the U.S., and how consumers say they are concerned about privacy yet think nothing of sharing their entire lives through a platform like Facebook.

Reddit AMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/al3jzp/im_florian_schaub_privacy_expert_and_researcher/

SPONSORS: U-M School of Information, U-M Information Assurance, Dissonance Event Series

VIDEO: Sol Bermann, U-M chief privacy officer and interim chief information security officer, and Florian Schaub, U-M assistant professor of information, discuss Privacy@Michigan.