The Most Read TAP Blogs from 2020

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on December 31, 2020


With 2020 coming to a close, TAP offers this list of the top-10 viewed blog posts from this past year that have been written by TAP scholars. Interesting to note is that three of the top blogs viewed this year examine the Schrems II ruling by the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU), and two of the top read posts address the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on privacy and working from home.


The list is compiled using simple page view analytics; therefore, posts published earlier in the year have had more time to garner page views than those published in the last quarter. To off-set this imbalance, the below list includes blogs published from December 2019 since their page view numbers didn’t have the time to build up for 2019’s top-read list. (Apologies to TAP’s economists for such a simple and unrefined process.)


Below are the top 10 most read blogs written by TAP scholars this past year. They are listed in order of most viewed posts.


Private browsing: What it does – and doesn’t do – to shield you from prying eyes on the web

By Lorrie Faith Cranor, August 21, 2020
Major browsers offer privacy-protection modes. However, there is a common misconception “that these browser modes allow you to browse the web anonymously, surfing the web without websites identifying you and without your … employer knowing what websites you visit.”


Protecting Privacy on COVID-19 Surveillance Apps

By Paul M. Schwartz, May 12, 2020
“The debate about the use and development of COVID-19 tracking apps is taking place worldwide. The most vibrant international debate about technology-assisted contact tracing is occurring in the European Union. …and the U.S. stands to learn from it.”


'Schrems II' backs the European legal regime into a corner — How can it get out?

By Peter Swire, July 28, 2020
“The CJEU declined to address … how to reconcile fundamental rights with national security. As someone who has worked extensively both in privacy and national security, my own view is that the CJEU provides very little room for effective protection against military action.”


Schrems II: Reflections on the Decision and Next Steps

By Daniel J. Solove, July 30, 2020
“The CJEU’s [European Court of Justice] problem isn’t that the US engages in a lot of surveillance. Instead, the CJEU noted several problems with US surveillance law that will not be easy to fix. As the CJEU explained, the US lacks some key protections and limitations in its law.”


Covid-19 and the Workplace Revolution

By Nicholas Bloom, August 4, 2020
“Without the historic switch to remote working, the economic impact of the pandemic would have been far worse and social distancing far more difficult. Working from home is a not only economically essential, it is a critical weapon in our fight against Covid-19.”


GDPR’s Second Anniversary: A Cause for Celebration — and Concern

By Omer Tene, May 28, 2020
“Perhaps more than any regulatory framework before, the GDPR has had a profound policy impact outside the borders of the EU. Part of this policy export impact is directly attributable to the GDPR’s insistence that data transferred from Europe continue to be protected at a level equivalent to that in the EU.”


The Show Must Go On

By Omer Tene, July 20, 2020
With the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield now invalidated, U.S. businesses can use standard contractual contracts to transfer data from Europe to the U.S. However, “companies can no longer simply sign and forget. They must continually monitor their ability to comply with the contractual terms. This is a good thing.”


Want to Learn More About Section 230? A Guide to My Work

By Eric Goldman, July 16, 2020
Gain an understanding of why Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act continues to be intensely debated. Professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara High Tech Law Institute, shares select writings that include a primer on the basics, critical policy considerations, myths about content moderation, and more.


Year in Review: Digital Events in 2019

By Shane Greenstein, December 27, 2019
Fitbit infidelity, internet memes, assembling the black hole image, ICANN sale of the .ORG domain, mass surveillance, and machine learning used to identify the author of Henry VIII. It’s time for a little sarcasm and mockery with Professor Shane Greenstein’s retrospective look back at top digital events of 2019.


Of special note: Professor Greenstein’s digital recap of 2020 technology people and events has just been published on TAP: “The Year in Review for Digital Technology.”


Can We Have Too Much Data?

By Daron Acemoglu, October 21, 2020
“But when individuals value their privacy either for its own sake or because privacy enables them to get better deals or better products in the future, information sharing also creates negative externalities.”