Privacy in the 21st Century

Privacy in the 21st Century

Directed by: 
Burren Law School Committee

Friday, 1st May to Sunday, 3rd May 2015

'Privacy in the 21st Century' - an oxymoron perhaps? The age of innocence is over as Orwellian shadows fall across the face of contemporary civilisation and Governments everywhere enlist the power of the digital age to spy on their citizens. Whistle-blowers are sent into exile and the truth they reveal leaves the citizen to wonder who is exercising oversight on the masters of the digital universe.

Of course, power in the digital age is multi-polar and actors in many sectors, from corporations, governments and geeks to spooks and media organisations exploit digital possibilities for their own ends. And in a time when many willingly share their data on social-media platforms, some would argue that an age of enlightenment is upon us when openness and transparency are the order of the day.

Orwellian nightmare or Brave new World - the Burren Law School 2015 will seek to make sense of emerging realities. Digital rights campaigners, politicians, journalists, artists and many others will tease out the strands of the issue as only a Burren Law School can. Expect the usual mix of passionate debate and conviviality whether at the formal sessions at the Burren College of Art or in the welcoming hostelries of Ballyvaughan.

And drawing on the inspiration of the special environment which is the Burren, we return to the site of the medieval Brehon School of the O'Davorens at Cahermacnaughten which inspired the foundation of the Burren Law School. Our guide for this special expedition will be archaeologist Professor Elizabeth Fitzpatrick.

Speakers confirmed so far include:

  • Joan Burton. TD, Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party
  • TJ McIntyre, Chair of Digital Rights Ireland and Lecturer in Law, UCD
  • Emily Logan - Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Karlin Lillington - Irish Times
  • Donnchadh O'Corráin, Professor (Emeritus) of History UCC
  • Elizabeth FitzPatrick, Professor of archaeology, NUI Galway
  • Dermot Bolger, Writer
  • Mary Kenny, Author and journalist
  • Hon Mr Justice George Birmingham, Judge of the Court of Appeal
  • Professor Ruairi O hUiginn, NUI Maynooth


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Burren Law School, Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland.
+353 65 7077200

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