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

F.E.C. Allows Security Company to Help 2020 Candidates Defend Campaigns

"The bad guys have had more time to spend on this, and more time to develop new tricks." — Ed Felten, Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University


Edward Felten
Source: The New York Times
July 11, 2019

Facebook’s Face-ID Database Could Be the Biggest in the World. Yes, It Should Worry Us.

"The payoff for Facebook is to have a bigger and broader sense of everybody’s preferences, both individually and collectively. That helps it not only target ads but target and develop services, too." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: Slate
July 9, 2019

Safe Space or Police State: How Far Should You Go in Monitoring Your Kids Online?

"I’m always nervous about any service provider that wants my password. That’s fundamentally insecure." — Lorrie Cranor, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2019

Deepfake Porn and the Ethics of Being Able to Watch Whatever Your Imagination Desires

"In the US, the legal options are small but potent if (big if) one has the funds to hire an attorney and one can find the creator. Defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress are potential claims." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: Metro UK
May 31, 2019

Facebook's Face Recognition Privacy Setting Missing for Some Users

"Since the company has one of the largest name-face databases in the world and the power to infer significant things about people whom it identifies, it’s especially important that it craft and execute appropriate policies for face recognition. All users should be able to access the same easy-to-use setting for preventing Facebook from recognizing them in photos and videos, and for deleting their templates." — Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology


Evan Selinger
Source: Consumer Reports
May 22, 2019

Serial Cyberstalker Could Avoid Prison Again Under Plea Deal

This article reports the plea bargain for Christopher Cleary, a man arrested for a history of terrorizing women he met over the internet. The plea deal with fits a pattern of lenient punishments common for cyberstalking and online harassment cases. Cyber law expert Danielle Citron, University of Maryland, is quoted.


Danielle Citron
Source: US News
May 22, 2019

You’re Not Alone When You’re on Google

For most people, that effort — to change how they search, how they buy stuff, how they connect with others and absorb news — is just too great. "There’s a sense that the fight to protect your data is unwinnable. You’d have to learn about other tools, it’s costly in time, and it might not even help, because your data is already out there."  — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University


Alessandro Acquisti
Source: The New York Times
May 17, 2019

A Record FTC Fine Won't Fix Facebook, Privacy Experts Say

"A billion isn't what it used to be. The problem with Facebook writing a check is that it’s the cost of doing business and not a deterrent." — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University


William E. Kovacic
Source: Consumer Reports
April 25, 2019

Lawmakers Want to Ban ‘Dark Patterns,’ the Web Designs Tech Companies Use to Manipulate You

"Our choice architectures are just completely muddled and clouded by the little tricks companies play to get you to consent, even though you may not want to." — Paul Ohm, Professor of Law, Georgetown University


Paul Ohm
Source: The Washington Post
April 9, 2019

Facebook's Privacy Meltdown After Cambridge Analytica Is Far from Over

"The fact is that if you want to target political advertisements precisely to move voters who have expressed interest in particular issues or share certain interests, there is an ideal tool to use that does not rely on pseudoscience. It’s called Facebook." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
March 18, 2019
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TAP Blog

Danielle Citron Discusses How Deepfakes Undermine Truth and Threaten Democracy

Boston University law professor Danielle Citron shares how the use of deepfake technology to manipulate video and audio for malicious purposes is becoming a real threat.

TAP Staff Blogger

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September 24, 2019, Las Vegas, NV

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November 20, 2019, Brussels, Belgium

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