In the nearly four years that I've been interviewing lawyers about technology and IT professionals about the law, the one constant is this: All of them, at some point, note that the law is constantly playing catch up to new technology. Because the law is usually created reactively to prevent things that have happened in the past from happening again, it cannot always be applied to advances in technology without at least a tweak here and there.
Nowhere is that more true than in the realm of communication technology as it intersects with privacy law. I can't even count how many times in recent days I've written about privacy issues raised by Facebook or Twitter or some other technology innovation. Remember the fuss about Facebook Connect?
It is with those very concerns in mind that The George Washington University Law School is partnering with the Washington, D.C.-based Future of Privacy Forum to "to examine the privacy challenges presented by new technology," FPF co-chair Christopher Wolf said in a press release on Thursday. FPF co-chair and director Jules Polonetsky explained:
FPF is focused on advancing responsible data practices in both the United States and abroad. This partnership will bring a greater visibility and more thorough discussion of the legal intricacies involved in privacy-related public policies.
In the next few days, I hope to speak with representatives from both organizations to get the scoop on how the partnership came to be and what they hope to accomplish. Stay tuned.