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Join us for a thought provoking talk on Privacy in the New Digital Age as we explore relevant court cases and the Jewish perspective on our responsibilities to uphold the dignity of the individual on social media.

Thurs., Feb. 19th

6:45 p.m. Reception

7:45 p.m. The Talk

JPULSE in Brookline/Brighton

74 Corey Rd, Second Floor, Brighton, MA 02135

 register now





Overview of the SpeakerJED-Breitowitz

Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz is sought after speaker of world renown and has written and lectured extensively on a wide variety of topics. Rabbi Breitowitz is currently living in Israel and holds the distinguished position of Rav and Senior Lecturer of Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem. Rabbi Breitowitz is familiar with Boston having graduated from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) and spent decades as Professor at University of Maryland Law School while serving the community as the Rav of a shul in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Click here for more on Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz.

Overview of talk

Ever since the celebrated 1890 article by future Supreme Court Justice Brandeis and Warren, the right to privacy has received increasing recognition under state and federal law. (Indeed,in a guise vastly removed from the Brandeis-Warren concerns, it even furnished the underpinnings of Roe v. Wade!). Yet side by side with the greater recognition of privacy rights is the growth of technologies that make those rights so much harder to protect. Identity theft,mining of data via the internet, profiling, using web cams to record and broadcast private behaviors are commonplace and to some degree the law may be ineffective in policing these abuses. To make matters more complicated, one person’s invasion of privacy may be another person’s First Amendment right of freedom of speech.

This talk will try to articulate a Jewish law framework that can analyze these issues and will focus on two somewhat unrelated but illustrative examples:

1) prescription data mining in light of the recent Supreme Court case of Sorrell striking down a Vermont law that protected privacy on the grounds that it conflicted with the First Amendment;

2) the tragic suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi who killed himself after roommates recorded and disseminated over the web his private sexual behaviors -should the disseminators be liable for his death,at least civilly and perhasps criminally?

In addition, Rabbi Breitowitz will address general confidentiality obligations of professionals under Jewish law and when those obligations must yield for the greater benefit of the public.