Government corruption and abuses of power, scandals in the real estate and financial industries, unpopular wars, skyrocketing costs of education and an increasingly complex and opaque healthcare system have spurred calls for greater transparency in our institutions and in society in general.
The unprecedented transparency in our society has been fueled and enabled by the new social media communications platforms of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and the like. At the same time, there is concomitant concern that individual and institutional privacy are dying realities.
The Think Tank on Transparency and Privacy took a critical look at these two often-conflicting paradigms. Eight course objectives were identified, all geared toward broadening the student’s substantive knowledge and engaging them in a collaborative, self-directed learning experience. Students studied the origins, underlying rationales and growth of the concepts of privacy and transparency as well as their legal and constitutional implications, both in general and in their application in specific areas such as the government, media, education system, financial industry, and the Internet.
During the first semester students heard from leading local and national experts in the areas of openness and privacy to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities, nuances and challenges of balancing and reconciling these two competing interests. During the second semester, students applied this information and knowledge by developing two practical projects which have an impact and life beyond the classroom.
University of Utah Presidential Honors Professor
Honors College & S.J. Quinney College of Law
Founding Partner, Mabey, Wright & James
Adjunct Professor, Honors College
Librarian, S.J. Quinney College of Law