Change Agents 9/3/20: Privacy Issues & the Impacts on People of Color

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

-The danger of facial recognition technology
-The disproportional impact of loss of privacy on people of color
-The gains that Maine has made

Meagan Sway, lawyer and Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Maine, where she advocates at the state and local level for policy that advances civil rights and liberties for all people in Maine. Among the bills Meagan has recently written and lobbied in the state house are those on drug sentencing, bail, and juvenile justice reform. She is a lawyer with experience representing people in eviction, foreclosure, death sentence and civil rights cases, among other issues. Meagan graduated from New York University School of Law in 2008 and Wellesley College in 2003.

Nate Wessler, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where he focuses on litigation and advocacy around surveillance and privacy issues, including government searches of electronic devices, requests for sensitive data held by third parties, and use of surveillance technologies. In 2017, he argued Carpenter v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, a case that established that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to get a search warrant before requesting cell phone location data from a person’s cellular service provider.

Nate was previously a legal fellow in the ACLU National Security Project and a law clerk to the Hon. Helene N. White of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Nate is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar. Before law school, he worked as a field organizer in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. He grew up in Litchfield and Hallowell, Maine.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.