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

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
Source: AP News
July 24, 2019

What Consumers Should Know About Equifax $700M Settlement

"You cannot determine with certainty that the information will never wind up in the hands of people who are going to use it." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: NBC News
July 22, 2019

FTC Reportedly Approves $5 Billion Settlement with Facebook

"This has emerged as a powerful test of the FTC's credibility as a privacy data protection authority. If it seems to conclude this in a way that is weak, it will suffer tremendously."  — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University


William E. Kovacic
Source: CNN
July 12, 2019

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
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TAP Blog

How the GDPR Approaches Algorithmic Accountability

In “Algorithmic Impact Assessments under the GDPR: Producing Multi-layered Explanations”, Colorado Law Professor Margot Kaminski and Gianclaudio Malgieri, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, explore how a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) links the two faces of the GDPR’s approach to algorithmic accountability: individual rights and systemic collaborative governance.

TAP Staff Blogger

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

Six Provocations for Big Data

This article challenges the assumption that only large sets of data provide the best information to social scientists.

By: danah boyd, Kate Crawford