Ed Felten Provides Keynote Address for the Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy – Video Is Available

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on May 11, 2012

In April, the NYU School of Law hosted the NYU/Princeton Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy, titled “A Technology and Policy Dialog.” The event gathered mobile technology and privacy thought leaders from government, industry and academia to discuss the substantial privacy issues arising from the growth of mobile and location technologies.
People routinely carry smartphones and other devices capable of recording and transmitting immense quantities of personal information and tracking their every move. Reports of vulnerabilities and unintended disclosures of private information with this relatively new technology raises questions about the need for privacy regulation, how the Fourth Amendment applies to new technologies, and how innovative new services can operate while still protecting user privacy.
At the daylong conference, Edward Felten, the Federal Trade Commission's chief technologist, gave the keynote address on the mobile and location privacy theme.

Watch the full video of Edward Felten's keynote address (1 hr, 1 min).
Ira Rubinstein, a senior fellow at the Law School’s Information Law Institute and an adjunct professor, moderated Models of Self-Regulating and Regulating Privacy. This roundtable concerning self-regulation models for technology companies and whether the mobile industry requires formal privacy regulation.
Ashkan Soltani, an independent researcher and consultant focused on privacy, security, and behavioral economics, delivered a technology demonstration on mobile devices, the type of data they store –including location data-- and device vulnerabilities.

Watch Soltani’s demonstration (47 min).

The conference also provided a lively discussion of the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in United States v. Jones. Stephen Schulhofer moderated Phones, Drones, and Social Networks—New Technologies and the Fourth Amendment after Jones. A few points coming out of this panel include:

Professor Barry Friedman, NYU: “In the rare instances in which [the justices] have tried [to protect privacy rights], it’s been doomed to failure, largely because of problems of technology.”
Professor Stephen Schulhofer, NYU: “There’s this idea that prolonged monitoring might be less intrusive than the search of a house, but it also could be considered much more intrusive, and I think there is a reading of the Sotomayor and Alito [concurring] opinions that suggests that.”