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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California Passes Bill Aimed at Making the Internet Safer for Kids

“The bill's [California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB 2273)] requirements that platforms seek to assess users’ ages to offer them appropriate content, while well intentioned, could be overly intrusive and undermine efforts to provide these users more privacy.” — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Eric Goldman
Source: CNBC
August 30, 2022

The Plan to Blow Up the Internet, Ostensibly to Protect Kids Online

“The AADC requires businesses to adopt protective practices for children. On the surface, this sounds pretty good. However, to achieve this outcome, businesses must know which users are kids. This would require businesses to authenticate all of their users’ ages — and that is bad news for everyone.” — Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Eric Goldman
Source: Capitol Weekly
August 18, 2022

She warned other women on TikTok about her ex-boyfriend. Then she received a cease-and-desist.

“You see a lot of mischief online in ways that torment and exploit the privacy of women, girls and minorities … [and yet] we’re gnashing our teeth when people are using online tools to protect themselves.” — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

Danielle Citron
Source: CNN
July 18, 2022

Abortion Bans Are Going to Make Stalkerware Even More Dangerous

“Policymakers tend to view privacy violations in silos, so they pursue reforms in a piecemeal manner. One day, proposals focus on nonconsensual pornography; the next, deepfake sex videos, still another, the confidentiality of people’s COVID statuses; and so on. To the extent that the law is updated, the reforms are often overly narrow. ” — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

Danielle Citron
Source: Slate – Future Tense
July 5, 2022

We’re So Close to Getting Data Loyalty Right

“We are at a critical juncture in the data privacy debate. Like the choice of where to lay roads, the privacy rules we choose now will be with us for decades, if not centuries. If lawmakers are going to create data loyalty rules, it is essential they get them right.” — Privacy law scholars Woodrow Hartzog, Boston University, and Neil Richards, Washington University in St. Louis

Woodrow Hartzog
Source: IAPP Privacy Perspectives
June 14, 2022

What Your Android Phone’s New “Data Safety” Labels Mean

“Most of us want privacy, but we don’t want to spend every waking moment thinking about privacy.” — Lorrie Cranor, Director of the CyLab Security & Privacy Institute, Carnegie Mellon University,

Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The Washington Post
May 5, 2022

Growth in Surveillance Technology Pits Law Enforcement Against Privacy Concerns

“Technologies have become cheaper and more powerful. And more and more of us today have publicly available images of ourselves and our faces online. The opportunities for surveillance have become commonplace and nearly ubiquitous.” — name, position, institution

Alessandro Acquisti
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune
April 10, 2022

Swipe Right When You See a Conference Room You Like

“Companies have tracked employee phone and computer use for years, but these apps “take employee surveillance to a new level.” — Lorrie Faith Cranor, Professor of Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The New York Times
January 18, 2022

There's an app to help prove vax status, but experts say choose wisely

“We have nowadays protocols, which allow for certain data to be verified, and used, without compromising individual's identity” — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti
Source: NPR
November 15, 2021

Privacy Concerns Aren't Keeping Automakers From Selling Massive Amounts of Your Data

“I think that it is high time that we have national privacy legislation that would reach consumer deceiving and unfair practices by companies around privacy.” — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: Newsweek
October 27, 2021
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TAP Blog

Privacy Experts Neil Richards and Danielle Citron Talk About Why Privacy Matters

In a UVA Common Law podcast, privacy law expert Neil Richards, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, joins University of Virginia law professor Danielle Citron to discuss how privacy regulation could ensure that information cannot be used to gain control and influence others.

TAP Staff Blogger

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

The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age

Intimate privacy concerns the extent to which others may access information about our health, sexuality, gender, and close relationships. The law does not adequately protect intimate privacy.

By: Danielle Citron