Mobile Safety

When mobile phones first became popular, our biggest concern was exposure to radiation. Now, there’s texting while driving, sexting, and cyber bullying. Next month, Pace partners with WiredSafety and Verizon on a conference that will challenge industry leaders to make mobile safety a priority.

With the rise of technology has come a similar rise in news stories that nobody wants to see: “Cyber bullying pushes high school student to commit suicide. Teen texting while driving kills two.”  However, as technology remains we need to find ways to make it safer.

On March 16 and 17, the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is collaborating with WiredSafety, the largest online safety, education, and help group in the world, to address the dangers of mobile devices and discuss innovative solutions at the Mobile Safety Summit, which is being held on both the New York City and Pleasantville campuses.

The conference, which is partially funded by a $15,000 Verizon Foundation grant to bring information on mobile safety and cyber bullying to high school and college students, will kick off with a community day on the Pleasantville Campus on March 16. Students and educators are encouraged to attend and voice their concerns around mobile safety, cyber bullying, internet privacy, and more, and discuss ways we can work together to address these problems and make these innovations safer.

“The users are young, they’re inexperienced, they’re unprotected, but they’re engaged. We need to figure out how to work with these young people and keep them safe, and not just deny that these technologies are out there,” says conference co-organizer Nancy Hale, PhD, who is the chair of special programs at Seidenberg, co-chair of the doctoral program in computing, and co-director of the Pace/NACTEL program.

Hale also notes the importance of working with organizations like Facebook to stay cyber safe. “They want to address these issues. We just need to have this dialogue,” she says. “The purpose of this conference is to create this dialogue so that these technologies can be refined.”

The second day of the conference will bring key industry leaders from organizations such as Facebook and Zynga, policymakers, law enforcement, parents, and educators to the NYC Campus to discuss findings from the community day and frame an action plan to keep our youth cyber safe. Co-organizer Parry Aftab, who is the executive director of WiredSafety and a leading international cyber safety expert, calls the conference “a giant focus group” and invites faculty, staff, and students to attend.

“The whole energy at Pace is exciting. I think we can change the world if we engage the students and the faculty and the brilliant administrators at Pace,” says Aftab. “Everyone’s walking around with more power in their backpacks and purses than corporations had a few years ago. Mobile is the future of entertainment, the future of business, and all stakeholders need to collaborate.”

For more information and to register for the conference, visit the Mobile Safety Summit website.