Experts in law and media will discuss the right to privacy in the age of “big data” and the dangers of not reading online agreements at the State Bar of Texas 2014 Open Government Seminar.

Attorneys and the public are invited to the free seminar, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, June 27, at the Austin Convention Center Room 17A.

“Our committee worked hard to select timely and relevant topics that affect the daily lives of attorneys and non-attorneys alike,” said Rudy England, chair of the State Bar of Texas Public Affairs Committee, which annually sponsors the seminar in conjunction with the bar’s Government Law Section. “We are thrilled we could recruit such a distinguished group of media and legal experts to illuminate these important topics.” 

In the first session, “Big Data: At the Intersection of Journalism, Privacy, and National Security,” scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., experts will debate questions such as:

  • What should happen when privacy and national security interests clash with the public’s right to know?
  • Just how compromised are Americans’ privacy rights as a result of government data mining programs?
  • Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor?

The panel will feature moderator Scott Braddock, a journalist with the Quorum Report;
 Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas;
 Walter Huffman, dean emeritus of the Texas Tech University School of Law; Lise Olsen, an investigative reporter with the Houston Chronicle; and 
Johnny Sutton, a former U.S. attorney and a partner with the Ashcroft Group in Austin.

In the second session, “‘I Agree’ … To What, Exactly?,” scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., legal experts will discuss the implications of clicking “I Agree” to download apps, update software, or conduct other business online without reading the fine print.

Osler McCarthy, a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas, will moderate the panel, which will feature Baylor Law School associate professor Connie Powell Nichols, Federal Trade Commission staff attorney 
Carl Settlemyer, and Baker Botts senior associate
 Jerry Suva.

The seminar is part of the 2014 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, which will take place June 26-27 at the Hilton Austin and Austin Convention Center. For more information, go to the event webpage.