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 much as some in the advertising industry dislike DNT, consumers are likely to judge it harshly too.
Nicknamed the internet ‘kill switch,’ the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010” was being re-introduced to a Senate committee on the same day that the Egyptian government shut down internet access for its citizens. Debates of censorship, cybersecurity, and economic impact follow.
TAP academics John Palfrey and Jonathan Zittrain have been actively engaged in the discussions about Internet censorship in light of the recent events in Egypt. Highlights from quotes in news journals and research articles are provided.
Reporting from the State of the Net Conference, keynote speaker Howard Schmidt emphasized that cybersecurity is key to intellectual property and the economy. Schmidt is the Cybersecurity Coordinator for the Executive Office of the President. At this technology policy conference, which involves leading Internet policy experts –both from the private and public sector, Schmidt outlined the basic proponents of Congress’ plan to modernize cybersecurity legislation.
What can the Department of Commerce do to make privacy self-regulation work for consumers?
Is the FTC up to the challenge of enforcing consumer privacy rights?
The Federal Trade Commission released a privacy report last week that proposes the creation of a "Do Not Track" tool for the Internet, which would enable people to prevent marketers from tracking their web browsing. The preliminary report was presented to Congress, and proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services.
Online privacy continues to be a key debate amongst policy makers. This post presents articles by privacy scholars Paul Ohm, Chris Hoofnagle, Daniel Solove, and Edward Felten; and looks at the basics of data privacy law.
A Q&A article with Joseph Turow on consumer online privacy following his testimony before a US Senate hearing.
Reprint of Professor Paul Ohm blog regarding the expectation of privacy in the content of email messages stored with an email provider.
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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. 


Government Case Details Sneaky Facebook Behavior

This article reports on Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) efforts to regulate Facebook’s privacy weaknesses. William Kovacic, George Washington University law professor and former FTC Chairman, is quoted.
William E. Kovacic
AP News
July 24, 2019

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