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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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.
Professor Paul Ohm, University of Colorado School of Law, responds to questions on the topic of personal privacy and online activities in a two-part New York Times article, “Answers to Questions About Internet Privacy.”
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Data Privacy Day

January 28, 2020, All countries

Fact Sheets

Privacy and Consumers

There are a number of privacy issues related to how online companies collect, store, use and share personally identifiable information; and how consumers are informed about what is done with their information online.


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

Lost in the Cloud

This op-ed raises concerns about storing personal files on the Internet.

By: Jonathan Zittrain