Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP) and the Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have announced a joint project on privacy and information systems that are being developed to help locate missing persons during natural disasters.
The Privacy and Missing Persons in Natural Disasters Project is part of an international effort led by the Missing Persons Community of Interest (MPCI) to unify a wide array of databases and technologies to enhance searches for those missing following natural disasters. MPCI, which emerged in response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake, includes participants from local disaster management, international humanitarian relief organizations, private sector technology companies, nonprofits, and digital volunteer communities.
The project will evaluate privacy challenges presented by MPCI’s efforts, such as protecting sensitive information provided in a search, and compliance issues related to privacy laws. CLIP will propose strategies and recommendations to help MPCI reduce the risk of privacy infringement, and protect the safety and well-being of affected individuals, while maintaining the efficacy of missing persons’ registries.
“Fordham Law School is extremely proud that the Wilson Center has formed this partnership with the Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy,” said Michael M. Martin, dean of Fordham Law. “CLIP is consistently at the forefront of information law, and its project with the Missing Persons Community of Interest nobly incorporates CLIP’s legal prowess with Fordham Law’s mission of practicing law ‘in the service of others.’”