Thursday, September 13, 2007

Suggestions for Second Life Protections

The article mentioned just below by Michael J. Bugeja, in the Chronicle, goes on to suggest a number of steps to reduce potential liability until the laws dealing with virtual worlds settles:

1. Begin discussing procedures and issues with university counsel, HR, accountants, ombudsmen and risk managers, including offering them the article as a starting point.

2. Debate in your faculty senate, faculty meetings or other fora the issues, inviting experts on cyberlaw, harassment, ethics, technology and new media.

3. Research -- look at warnings and disclaimers in the syllabi of profs who already deal with the issues raised, such as computer science, social science, forensics, medical and arts profs. (these folks deal with risks to computers and to psyches - from exposure to awfulness and sex).

4. Develop Best Practices - use orientations, develop campus policies. Models may already exist in programs exposing students to unfamiliar environments such as study abroad programs, archeology, social work, internships and volunteer programs.

5. Assess - weigh the potential costs against the possible benefits. Keep files documenting all institutional policies and efforts in case of accreditation or legal disputes.

No comments: