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October 2008

Release Date: Oct. 20, 2008ASU Logo

Privacy Issues the Focus of ASU Holland Symposium

Increasing concerns about surveillance and security at the cost of Americans’ privacy will dominate discussions during the 2008 E. James Holland University Symposium on American Values Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 27-28, at Angelo State University.

Dr. John Gilliom, chair of the Department of Political Science at Ohio University, and Dr. Torin Monahan, associate professor of human and organizational development and associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, will conduct sessions on 21st century surveillance.

The symposium, “Privacy in America: Balancing the Individual and Society,” will include the definition of “privacy,” how poverty and social injustice play a role in privacy-related policies, and the use of surveillance in electronic media and health care.

In the keynote address at 2 p.m. Oct. 27, Gilliom will focus on the evolving terms and structure of the surveillance-privacy debate. Gilliom’s research into surveillance includes workplace drug testing, welfare fraud control and educational testing.

Monahan’s session at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 will look at the invasion of technology into the human body, called “somatic surveillance.” People’s bodies essentially become computer input terminals on vast information networks. His focus is in three areas: Nanotechnology systems for soldiers on the battlefield; body-monitoring for health purposes; and implants to identify hospital patients. His position is that such systems reduce people to data and invisibly automate social inequality.

The speakers also will conduct a panel discussion on their issues at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. The lectures and panel discussion in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center are open free to the public.

In addition to the two-day symposium’s main sessions, events include the featured speakers visiting classes, a video production of the symposium and a creative contest with cash awards for students. The symposium is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

For more information, contact Dr. Kraig Schell at 942-2219, ext. 243, or go online to