Issues

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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Quotes

Sharing Data for Deals? More Like Watching It Go With a Sigh

"There are so many aspects of how companies deal with the public that obfuscates what actually goes on and so many attempts to placate people using jargon. I’ve spoken to lawyers who write privacy policies who admit — they admit — that they aren’t written for the public." — Joseph Turow, Professor of Communications, University of Pennsylvania


Joseph Turow
Source: The New York Times
December 24, 2018

It’s Time to Try Something Different on Internet Privacy

"It’s time to take a bold step forward. The United States has an opportunity to redefine itself as the country that protects the trust that people give to companies. By embracing trust, the United States can become a leader on privacy instead of following the path of false promises and diminishing returns." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law, Northeastern University and Neil Richards, Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis


Woodrow Hartzog
Source: The Washington Post
December 20, 2018

Violating Our Privacy Is in Facebook's DNA

"These two principles – that Facebook is benevolent and that privacy is quaint and inefficient – drive everything Facebook does. They go a long way to explain why Facebook continued to give precious user data to a set of “trusted” partners years after the company claimed it had ended such a program." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
December 20, 2018

Facial Recognition Has to Be Regulated to Protect the Public, Says AI Report

"It’s time to regulate facial recognition and affect recognition. Claiming to ‘see’ into people’s interior states is neither scientific nor ethical." — Kate Crawford, Distinguished Research Professor, New York University


Kate Crawford
Source: MIT’s Technology Review
December 6, 2018

Facebook’s Failure to End ‘Public by Default’

"Right now, users have little choice in the public exposure of their profile pictures. Every single one of them is set to “public” by default. Even if you try to limit your current profile picture visibility using Facebook’s privacy settings for the individual photo, it will still be public." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law, Northeastern University and Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology


Evan Selinger
Source: Medium
November 7, 2018

Online Hate Is Spreading, and Internet Platforms Can’t Stop It

"We need to be really vigilant about speech that gets really close to reducing people to non-humans and calling for their destruction. Even in vague ways, I think that is harmful and dangerous and troubling. It doesn’t mean it has to be removed. We just have to follow it." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: Boston Globe
November 1, 2018

The Cybersecurity 202: Kanye West Is Going to Make Password Security Great Again

"The phone is actually the closest to being a solved problem. They use biometrics pretty well. They’re not the most secure things, but they’re a lot more secure than using ‘000000.’" — Lorrie Faith Cranor, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The Washington Post
October 12, 2018

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
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TAP Blog

Professors Hartzog and Richards Insist It’s Time to Try Something Different on Internet Privacy

In an op-ed article written for The Washington Post, Professors Woodrow Hartzog and Neil Richards explain why the current online privacy ecosystem in the U.S. is failing; and, they encourage policymakers to “redefine itself as the country that protects the trust that people give to companies.”

TAP Staff Blogger

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January 29, 2019, Washington, DC

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.

Featured Article

Lost in the Cloud

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

By: Jonathan Zittrain