Gazette article

I’m quoted today in a story for the Montreal Gazette by Karen Seidman.

Amy Adele Hasinoff … agreed that the “very harsh” child pornography laws are “designed to address adults exploiting children” but shouldn’t replace better sex education and consent training that is needed for teens.

“Sexting is a sex act and if it’s consensual, that’s fine,” she said in an interview from Denver. “Anyone who distributes these pictures without consent is doing something malicious and abusive, but child pornography laws are too harsh to address it.”

Schools need to discuss the importance of consent and privacy as part of digital literacy programs, she said.

It’s wonderful to see a sexting story in a newspaper that doesn’t blame the victims at all.

Shaheen Shariff, from Education at McGill, has some great quotations in the article as well:

“I don’t think putting kids through the criminal justice system is the answer, especially under child pornography laws,” [Shariff] said. “Schools have always been reactive to bullying and cyberbullying, and occasional anti-bullying programs haven’t worked. We need to address the root societal issues of rape culture, misogyny, homophobia and objectification of women — and get kids to realize the long-term impact of their postings.”

New short paper up at SPIR

My paper for the conference proceedings of the Association of Internet Research, titled “Information and Consent” is now available online. It’s a very brief (3 pp) version of an argument I develop in the last chapter of my book.

Here is the abstract:
In 1999, a technology CEO stated: “You have zero privacy. Get over it.” Is it true that privacy is impossible online? By socializing on the internet and on mobile devices, users deliberately and inadvertently generate personal artifacts and data that can be persistent, easily replicable, and even searchable. While people have significant interests in protecting their private personal information, the existing rhetorical and legal tools to do so are limited. The solution proposed here is to adopt a standard that explicit consent should be necessary for the production, distribution, or possession of private media content and information. Given the quantity of personal information created and stored in digital formats, scholars, policymakers, technology developers, and users alike need to develop social norms and technological mechanisms for obtaining meaningful and informed consent before circulating private information.