Privacy invasion led to death?

Posted on: October 1, 2010 | By: Kelly Reimer | Filed under: Tech Tips

Tyler Clementi, an 18 year old Rutgers University student, committed suicide after his sexual encounter with another man was streamed online. Tyler’s roommate videotaped him secretly with a web cam and then posted two Tweets, one of which stated “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.” On September 22 a mobile status update on Tyler’s Facebook page stated, “jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”

This misuse of technology has led to tragic results. As a member of the Elon University community, we must each ask ourselves, “Am I using technology in ethical and responsible ways? Am I using technology in ways that go against Elon University’s dedication to the intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth of all of its members? Am I aware that my individual actions have an effect on the larger community?”

In the spring of 2006, Elon University created a task force of students, faculty, and staff that developed a values statement regarding the use of technology. From this task force the Technology Ethics and Personal Responsibility campaign was launched. Read more about Elon’s efforts to encourage the ethical and responsible use of technology.

Watch this video from CNN that reports on how privacy invasion possibly led to Tyler’s death.

Kelly Reimer

Kelly Reimer

Kelly Reimer serves as an Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT). In her role, she specializes in client relations which involves the management of the day-to-day operations and walk-in services offered by TLT. These services include equipment circulation, facilities management, project intake, and just-in-time technology support for faculty, staff, and students.

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