Privacy forum organized by media, law groups to be held at Lehigh Valley

July 08, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Facebook knows everything about you. So does Google. But there are a host of other forces at work to erode what Americans see as a fundamental right of privacy, a phenomenon that leading media and law experts will address at a panel discussion from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, at Penn State Lehigh Valley (2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley) in the multipurpose room (Room 135). It is free and open to the public.

The event, which is being organized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Bar/Press Committee, will explore how technology and other factors are eroding privacy, how the law is trying to apply traditional legal concepts, how old definitions of privacy are becoming blurred or obliterated, and how the government’s increasing use of surveillance comes into play.

Audience members will be invited to participate in the forum by questioning panelists. The moderator will be Francine Schertzer, director of programming for Pennsylvania Cable Network, which will televise the event later on PCN via cable channels statewide July 16 to 19.

"Technology continues to affect privacy at an increasing rate. The law is hard-pressed to keep up," said Craig Staudenmaier, a partner in the Nauman Smith law firm, Harrisburg, and co-coordinator of the panel, a project of the Bar Press Committee, a group comprised of representatives for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. "The panel is uniquely qualified to discuss the current state of these issues and how the law may continue to evolve to keep pace with the conflicting demands by the public of greater access and use of technology and the desire to still keep aspects of our lives private."

The Morning Call’s editor and Vice President David Erdman, co-coordinating the panel with Staudenmaier, said, "We’ll be exploring how this issue plays out in the media, the law, the government and elsewhere – especially in social media.

"Pew Research says that about half of Americans worry about the amount of personal information widely available on the Internet and worry about privacy in general – this is a topic of importance to every citizen," said Erdman, who is representing the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association in the initiative.


-- Correale F. Stevens, Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, is a graduate of Penn State and the Dickinson School of Law, where he served as associate editor of the Dickinson Law Review. Elected to the statewide appellate Superior Court in 1997 and as president judge in 2010, he is a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, district attorney and trial judge. He teaches American Government and Criminal Justice at Penn State Hazleton, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

-- Matt Jackson, an associate professor and head of the Department of Telecommunications at Penn State, teaches a variety of courses including copyright law, Internet law, advertising law, telecommunications regulation and media programming. Jackson’s research focuses on intellectual property, the First Amendment, and communications law and policy. He has published articles in numerous outlets including Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Federal Communications Law Journal and Communications Law and Policy. He wrote a chapter on cable regulation for Communication and the Law and a chapter on copyright for Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law. 

-- Kay Murray, an assistant general counsel at Tribune Publishing, has practiced law as a litigator and as in-house counsel for more than 25 years. She was general counsel and assistant executive director of the Authors Guild, a trade association of professional writers and journalists, and deputy general counsel of the Open Society Foundations, a private philanthropy concerned with civil rights and justice issues. At Tribune, Murray serves as business and newsroom counsel for six daily newspapers, and has expertise in copyright, libel, media regulatory issues and privacy as it relates to media.

Air dates are 8 p.m. July 16; 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. July 17; and 2 p.m. July 19; and the program will be viewable in the Lehigh Valley via Service Electric Cable TV and Blue Ridge Communications. The program also will be viewable online at and a list of channel designations is available at

If you are interested in attending and have questions, contact Allison Goodin, Penn State Lehigh Valley, 610-285-5067.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015