WILL - Focus - May 22, 2013

Digital Privacy and the Workplace

Illinois law currently bans employers from asking employees and prospective employees for their social media passwords, but there is a bill in the Illinois House that would change that. This hour on Focus, we'll talk about the bill and larger issues it raises when it comes to digital privacy. 


(Duration: 51:28)

House Bill 1047, currently under consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives, would make it legal for employers to ask employees for their personal social media passwords. Under legislation that took effect July 1, 2012, it’s currently against the law to do so. According to some, it’s a severe violation of privacy for employers to be able to ask for social media account information, but State Representative Jim Durkin defends the bill saying that employers need to have agency to protect themselves against threats and theft. He also says that as the bill is written, employers can’t take action against employees who refuse to share their information.

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the intersection of digital privacy and the workplace. Statehouse Reporter Amanda Vinicky will give us an update about the status of the legislation and then Law Professor Lori Andrews joins us. She’s written a social media constitution and is author of the book “I Know Who You Are, I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.” Representative Durkin, who is from Western Springs, also joins the conversation.

Would you be concerned if your employer could legally ask for your social media passwords? Are you a manager and think you should be able to ask? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Privacy, Technology

WILL - Focus - April 04, 2013

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Calling them unmanned aerial vehicles sounds just as scary as calling them drones, but what do we really mean when we talk about this technology? This hour on Focus, we talked about drones, how they are being used and how they’re not. We also heard from an Urbana man working to advance the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in journalism and to inspire high school students to study math and science.


(Duration: 55:01)

an unmanned aerial vehicle

The technologies encompassed by the term “unmanned aerial vehicle” are vast and include everything from hobbyist drones that look like toy helicopters to units that are equipped with cameras and are being used to monitor crop damage. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Matthew Schroyer, a graduate of the UIUC who is also the founder of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists. We’ll talk with him about the things drones could help us do, and we’ll ask him about the privacy concerns the technology raises. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, former Wired editor and founder of the website DIY Drones and Nancy Cooke, Professor at Arizona State University and Science Director of the Cognitive Engineering Research Institute in Mesa, Arizona, also join us.

Watch a video of Matt explaining and flying his drone. 



Are you excited by the possibilities of this kind of technology? Or does it scare you? Why? Join our conversation. Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.

WILL - Focus - March 29, 2013

Next Week on Focus: MLB Opening Day, Drones and The Lawyer Bubble

Do you love MLB Opening Day? Who’re you rooting for this season? Does the idea of drone technology scare you or excite you?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

Thursday on Focus, we'll talk about unmanned aerial vehicles.

Next week on Focus, we'll talk with the official historian for Major League Baseball and an Urbana man working with unmanned aerial technology for both journalistic purposes and to inspire high school students to study math and science. We'll also address the unmet need for homeless services in the area and talk about the growing disconnect between law schools and law firms in Illionis and why it matters. 

WILL - Focus - September 27, 2012

Your Permanent Record


(Duration: 51:22)

Jules Polonetsky, Director and Co-Chair, Future of Privacy forum

Frances Harris, Librarian, University Laboratory High School, Urbana

Host: Craig Cohen
Filing Cabinets

As we share more and more of our lives on sites like Facebook and Twitter, privacy questions naturally arise. But so does the issue of how long this material will stay around - perhaps much longer than any of us had originally intended. In an age of social media and digital archiving, can we escape from what we have posted or written online? Is the internet compiling a "permanent record" of our lives, the one grade school teachers and principals have been warning students of for decades?

Categories: Privacy, Technology

WILL - Focus - September 11, 2012



(Duration: 49:45)

Garret Keizer, contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, contributing writer to Mother Jones, recent Guggenheim Fellow

Host: Craig Cohen
Privacy Book Cover

In his book Privacy, Garret Keizer begins by noting how the word “sharing” today has almost everything to do with personal information, and almost nothing to do with personal wealth. Keizer sees a link between shrinking personal privacy and a growing gap between rich and poor. He maintains privacy has long been thought of as a value that came along with the growth of the middle class, and now that the middle class is shrinking, so, naturally, is privacy. We’ll discuss what privacy means in 21st century America – and just what sort of impact political, economic, or cultural influences have on it. From concerns over security to the rise of technology designed to make our lives easier, but requiring more and more access to information we once considered personal, is there even room for such privacy anymore?

WILL - Focus - March 29, 2012

Protecting Privacy from Aerial Surveillance: Recommendations for Government Use of Drone Aircraft

Protecting Privacy from Aerial Surveillance: Recommendations for Government Use of Drone Aircraft


(Duration: 51:31)

With Catherine Crump, J.D. (Staff Attorney, The American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project; Non-Residential Fellow, Stanford Center for Internet and Society), and Jay Stanley (Senior Policy Analyst, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, The American Civil Liberties Union)

Categories: Government, Politics, Privacy

WILL - Focus - April 05, 2011

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

With Sherry Turkle, Ph.D. (the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology; Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Download mp3 file

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