Professors Hartzog and Solove Discuss Consumer Data Security at the FTC Hearings on Consumer Protection

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on December 11, 2018


Today (December 11th, 2018) and tomorrow, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues its Hearings Initiative on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. This week’s hearings, the ninth in a series of ten, will focus is on Data Security. Topics will include data breaches, business incentives to invest in data security, emerging threats to the security of consumer data, and FTC data security enforcement.


TAP scholars Daniel Solove and Woodrow Hartzog will participate in tomorrow’s discussions. The hearings are being webcast.


Professor Solove will share his insights on The U.S. Approach to Consumer Data Security panel.


Daniel J. Solove is the John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School.  He is also the founder of TeachPrivacy, a privacy and cybersecurity training company.


One of the world’s leading experts in privacy law, Professor Solove is the author of numerous books, including Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security (Yale 2011), Understanding Privacy (Harvard 2008), and The Future of Reputation: Gossip and Rumor in the Information Age (Yale 2007). Professor Solove is also the author of several textbooks, including: Information Privacy Law (Aspen Publishing, 5th ed. 2015), Privacy, Law Enforcement, and National Security (Aspen Publishing, 1st ed. 2015), Consumer Privacy and Data Protection (Aspen Publishing, 1st ed. 2015), and Privacy and the Media (Aspen Publishing, 2nd ed. 2015) (all textbooks with Paul M. Schwartz).  


“We ought to worry, much less about the Thought Police and much more about how our informational profiles harden into the invisible architecture of our everyday lives. It’s not that we might be observed or killed in our sleep, but rather that the availability of loans or jobs or romantic partners or upscale hotel rooms are already being silently and automatically withdrawn from “people like us” — people with our politics, people of our skin color, people with certain friends or predispositions, people without the wealth and power of Mark Zuckerberg.”

  - Professor Daniel Solove quoted in The New York Times Magazine article, “Facebook and the ‘Dead Body’ Problem.


Professor Hartzog will be participating in the FTC Data Security Enforcement panel.


Woodrow Hartzog is Professor of Law and Computer Science at Northeastern University School of Law and holds a joint appointment in the College of Computer and Information Science department. Professor Hartzog teaches privacy and data protection issues, and his research focuses on the complex problems that arise when personal information is collected by powerful new technologies, stored, and disclosed online. He is also an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and serves on the advisory board of the Future of Privacy Forum. Professor Hartzog is an internationally recognized expert in the area of privacy, media, and robotics law.


Professor Hartzog’s book, Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies (Harvard University Press, 2018), has been called “one of the most important books about privacy in our times.”


“Facial recognition is probably the most menacing, dangerous surveillance technology ever invented,” Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, told me in an email. “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.”

  - Professor Woodrow Hartzog quoted in The Atlantic article, “The Always-On Police Camera.


Professors Hartzog and Solove have co-authored several articles to share their expertise on consumer data privacy. Below are a few highlights:


A final post worth mentioning is Professor Solove’s interview with Professor Hartzog to discuss his new book, Privacy's Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies: “Should Privacy Law Regulate Technological Design? An Interview with Woodrow Hartzog.”


The final hearing in the FTC’s Hearing Initiative will focus on Consumer Privacy, and be held February 12-13, 2019.