Access Under Siege: The Impact of Technology on Public Policy and Access to Electronic Records in the United States

Prof. Sandra Chance
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Courts and government agencies at all levels — federal, state and local — are increasingly making public records available electronically and on web sites. Some agencies are just beginning, while others have done so since the mid-1990s. Electronic access makes it easier for citizens to monitor their government, a fundamental right in the United States. And, while electronic access to government information helps citizens be more informed about their governmental officials and activities, many people fear that the right to personal privacy is being trampled in the rush to use this new technology. The author examines the various legal, public policy and technology issues in conflict and proposes a model for balancing the right of access to government records and personal privacy, one of the most challenging public policy debates of our time.

Keywords: Access to information, Right to privacy, Government information, Public records, Internet accessibility
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Access Under Siege

Prof. Sandra Chance

Executive Director, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, University of Florida and Associate Professor of Journalism, College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida, University of Florida

Sandra Chance is the Executive Director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida and an Associate Professor of Journalism in the College of Journalism and Communications. She teaches media law at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information specializes in providing information on access to government meetings and records to media organizations, private citizens, and elected officials. The Brechner Center also provides information on media law developments in Florida to organizations, individuals and institutions nationwide. Chance handles telephone queries about access to meetings and records and presents seminars nationally on access to governmental information and First Amendment issues. Chance graduated with honors from the University of Florida's College of Law in 1990 and was named to the Order of the Coif. She practiced media law with the law firm of Holland and Knight in Tampa, Florida. Chance also served as an Assistant General Counsel at the University of Florida. Chance has published in numerous academic and professional journals and newspapers. She is nationally recognized as one of the leading scholars on freedom of information. Chance is on the board of directors of the First Amendment Foundation and is active in the National Freedom of Information Coalition. She is the Sunshine Chair for the Society of Professional Journalists. She is active in numerous professional and academic associations and holds several national leadership positions. She is admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court and the federal courts in Florida. Chance earned her M.A. with high honors and distinction in Journalism and Communications in 1985 from the University of Florida where she also earned her B.S. with high honors in 1975. She was a teaching fellow at the University of Florida's College of Law and a research assistant with the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the College of Law.

Ref: T05P0265