Privacy and Security

Information technology lets people learn about one another on a scale previously unimaginable. Information in the wrong hands can be harmful. Scholars on this site consider problems of privacy, fraud, identity, and security posed by the digital age.

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As facial-recognition technology grows, so does wariness about privacy. Use at a school in Seattle fuels debate.

"Those with unfettered access to your data, and especially those whose usage of your own data you cannot inquire about or limit, have power over you." — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti
Source: The Seattle Times
September 28, 2018

The Always-On Police Camera

"Facial recognition is probably the most menacing, dangerous surveillance technology ever invented. We should all be extremely skeptical of having it deployed in any wearable technology, particularly in contexts [where] the surveilled are so vulnerable, such as in many contexts involving law enforcement." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University

Woodrow Hartzog
Source: The Atlantic
September 26, 2018

The Cybersecurity 202: Lawmakers Want Intelligence Chiefs to Help Counter Threat from Doctored Videos

"Having the director of national intelligence reporting to Congress, having the threat bandied about very publicly, could get platforms to work more on these problems. This is the kind of feedback loop we need." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Danielle Citron
Source: The Washington Post
September 14, 2018

Let’s Retire the Phrase ‘Privacy Policy’

"‘Privacy policy’ – People assume it means their information will be kept private. Nothing could be further from the truth." — Joseph Turow, Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Joseph Turow
Source: The New York Times
August 20, 2018

The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley — and Won

This article outlines the path one California resident, Alastair Mactaggart, took to pursue privacy legislation through a statewide ballot initiative. University of California, Berkeley privacy expert Chris Hoofnagle was asked to share his expertise.

Chris Hoofnagle
Source: The New York Times Magazine
August 14, 2018

Inside the Decades-Long Fight to Protect Your Children’s Data From Advertisers

"I want these tools, you want these tools, everyone wants these tools. The question is: on what terms are they offered to you?" — Chris Hoofnagle, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Chris Hoofnagle
Source: New York Magazine
August 13, 2018

Twitter Target of Accused Capital Gazette Gunman Says Gaps in Maryland Law Allowed Threats to Persist

"You can offend people, you can draw strong emotion, but it’s protected speech." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Danielle Citron
Source: NBC Washington
August 6, 2018

Drugstore Rewards Programs Can Help You Save

"Drugstore chains may, for instance, monitor your credit card purchases in their stores to help them anticipate what you might buy in the future." — Joseph Turow, Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Joseph Turow
Source: Consumer Reports
July 25, 2018

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates

"The risk of improper use is extremely high. And data scores are not properly vetted and validated and available for scrutiny." — Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Frank Pasquale
Source: NPR’s Morning Edition
July 17, 2018

Schools Face Civil Liberties Battles in Effort to Adopt Facial Recognition

As Evan Selinger, a professor of philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, pointed out in a recent essay, facial recognition is a technology so "potently, uniquely danger," "so inherently toxic," it warrants being "completely rejected, banned, and stigmatized" — not just in schools, but everywhere.

Evan Selinger
Source: The Journal
July 17, 2018
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TAP Blog

Peter Swire Offers a Proposal for Teaching the Organizational, Legal, and International Aspects of Cybersecurity

A new article by Georgia Tech law and ethics professor Peter Swire proposes a system for “categorizing and teaching the jumble of non-code yet vital cybersecurity topics.”

TAP Staff Blogger

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Fact Sheets

Social Networking

Social networking websites are places on the Internet where people can connect with those who share their interests. Additionally, they can function as economic “platforms” that serve different groups of many users, including consumers, advertisers, game developers, and others. 

Featured Article

Why the Right to Data Portability Likely Reduces Consumer Welfare: Antitrust and Privacy Critique

This article analyzes the potential weaknesses of the European Union’s potential new right to data portability.

By: Peter Swire, Yianni Lagos