|January 3, 2000
I write to nominate myself to the Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security Nomination, P004807. Please find enclosed two copies of this letter and an electronic version in Microsoft Word 2000 format. I have considerable interest and experience in online privacy issues. The bulk of my experience and interest in online privacy stems from three activities: academic work in traditional and online survey research; starting and running a high-profile New Media Workshop at Yale University; and private sector experience in digital measurement with a new internet start-up. In summary, experience as an assistant professor at Yale University combined with the fact that I co-founded a now funded digital measurement company allows for me to represent a broad variety of interests.
First and foremost, my position as an assistant professor in the department of political science at Yale Univeristy has provided the opportunity to pursue research in tracking web-users behavior and measuring their attitudes through online surveys. This has led to my interest in issues of privacy that are associated with this work. I have also founded a New Media Workshop at Yale. The workshop addresses important topics ranging from the changing face of ecommerce to a variety issues of privacy, including the feasibility of self-monitoring by private companies, disclosure policy, and technological issues such as the use of "cookies." The workshop has several notable speakers for the Spring 2000 term, including Martin Nisenholtz (President of the New York Times on the Web); Merrill Brown (President of MSNBC.com); Nicholas Butterworth (President of MTV.com); and Cella Irvine (President of the New York New Media Association). The workshop is interdisciplinary in nature with participation from the Universitys professional schools including the School of Management and the Law School. Other departments, including computer science, political science, sociology and economics also participate. The workshop reflects my inter-disciplinary approach to study privacy, which I believe would help the committee.
I hope that my experience at Yale University along with a considerable amount of experience in the private sector merits my selection to the committee. I look forward to hearing back from the commission.
John S. Lapinski