Institute for Privacy Protection’s School Outreach Program
“Our program is unique in reaching students and parents, seeking to educate both about
the risks of privacy mismanagement and technology over-use and to foster trust as
parent-child relationships are increasingly affected by technology,” says Professor
Gaia Bernstein, Director for the Institute for Privacy Protection.
The new Institute for Privacy Protection at Seton Hall Law School recently launched an innovative outreach program and curriculum that partners with
parents and educational leaders to raise awareness about personal privacy and social
media. The Institute’s curriculum focuses on elementary and middle school children
in New Jersey and New York and highlights topics such as reputational impact, advertisements
and content choice, with a focus on balancing time spent on screens and time spent
offline. The Curriculum was designed by the Privacy Institute’s faculty and is taught
by the Institute’s law student fellows. “We teach students about privacy at the age
at which they receive their first cell phone,” explains Professor Gaia Bernstein,
Director for the Institute for Privacy Protection. “The students learn how to manage
their reputations online and how to maintain a healthy online-offline balance.”
According to Najarian Peters, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow for the Institute,
“Behavior is the toughest element to change in our daily lives; however, making a
positive impact on behavior is key to creating a healthy relationship with technology.
Fundamentally, the curriculum will help children make good choices online.” “The lessons
developed by the Institute of Privacy Protection engage our students,” explains Namita
Tolia, Head of School at Montclair Cooperative School, where Seton Hall Law Fellows
teach the outreach program. “It is active, effective learning with exercises. We are
thrilled to have Seton Hall Law teaching our fifth graders and beginning a conversation
that will continue during their middle school years.” The curriculum will expand
into New York in February 2018. By the end of the project’s first academic year, the
Institute’s student fellows will have taught ten 5th and 6th grade classes in New Jersey along with several more in New York.
Created in 2016, the Institute for Privacy Protection seeks to educate consumers and
businesses and to provide inter-disciplinary forums to address emerging privacy issues.
Specifically, the Institute educates individuals and organizations about consumers’
exposure to privacy threats and ways to protect their personal information and avoid
unsolicited invasions of their personal space through novel technologies and various
forms of marketing. The Institute focuses on youth, parents and educators, to increase
awareness of privacy threats resulting from use of new information technologies and
to highlight potential solutions. Additionally, the Institute educates businesses
and professionals in the general business arena and in highly privacy regulated industries
as to the privacy issues and legal rules affecting their operations, including permissible
and impermissible sharing of personal information and forms of commercial advertising.
The Institute provides inter-disciplinary forums that foster a dialogue among legal
academics, lawyers, psychologists, educators, technology designers, consumers, businesses
and others to address ethical, cultural, social and legal privacy issues and promote
the search for solutions.