Donna Wertalik (at center) and France Bélanger (at far right) speak to attendees at the 2023 Virginia Women’s Conference, hosted by Senator Mark Warner.

France Bélanger, University Distinguished Professor in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of BusinessDepartment of Accounting and Information Systems, and Donna Wertalik, professor of practice in the Department of Marketing, took their show, Voices of Privacy, on the road as they presented at Senator Mark Warner’s 2023 Virginia Women’s Conference.

The conference, hosted Saturday, September 30, at Old Dominion University, featured keynote speaker, Captain Janet Days, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk, as well as remarks from Senator Mark R. Warner, and a variety of workshops, including one titled “Empowering You to Navigate the Online World: Protecting Your Information Privacy,” hosted by Bélanger and Wertalik.

The workshop, like the Voices of Privacy initiative, explored the topics of whether information privacy is dead and, if not, what can someone do to protect themself and their loved ones? Bélanger and Wertalik also included a segment on protecting the privacy of children and offered a resource table where with the help of PRISM students they talked to conference attendees.

“It was amazing to see everyone so engaged in both informal discussions at the resource table and throughout the very interactive presentation we did,” Bélanger noted. “We were happy to share our knowledge, but we also learned a lot from the attendees.”

A first-of-its-kind initiative, Voices of Privacy combines video episodes on the web – or webisodes – as well as a range of resources available on its website, including expert interviews, news articles, how-to videos, and more, to highlight current issues about information privacy and solutions for those seeking to enhance their knowledge.

Wertalik describes the venture as “a cross between a TED talk and a master class.”

Each webisode features Bélanger and Wertalik discussing different information privacy topics, including steps individuals can take to protect their information on different platforms – web, smartphones, and others.

“I appreciate the personal commitment you made to travel to Norfolk in order to share your expertise with our attendees,” read a message from Senator Warner. “Your session on cybersecurity and internet privacy was very popular. It’s a pressing issue and foremost in my thoughts.”

The Virginia Women’s Conference is, according to their website, dedicated to providing a venue for Virginia women of all ages to meet, network, hear from experts on a variety of important topics, and gather resources from federal, state, and local agencies.

For images from the event, please visit the photo gallery.

Voices of Privacy can be found at and accessed on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. New content is published every Wednesday along with daily interactions on Facebook and LinkedIn.