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

Getting the First Amendment Wrong

Clearview AI is wrong about privacy and wrong about the First Amendment. It would have you believe that the moment you post a photo of yourself on Facebook or walk outside your house, you abandon any privacy interest in your image or your whereabouts because they are now “public.” — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law, Northeastern University and Neil Richards, Professor of Law, Washington University
Woodrow Hartzog
Source: Boston Globe
September 4, 2020

Lawmakers Want Cyberprotection For University COVID-19 Research

“Too many people think that good cybersecurity just happens, and [Barr] obviously appreciates it takes leadership, commitment, and support.” — Fred Cate, Vice President for Research, Indiana University
Fred H. Cate
Source: Washington Examiner
August 20, 2020

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

“Private browsing does not make you anonymous online. Anyone who can see your internet traffic – your school or employer, your internet service provider, government agencies, people snooping on your public wireless connection – can see your browsing activity.” — Lorrie Cranor, Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The Conversation
July 30, 2020

Here Are All the Battlefronts TikTok Is Currently Fighting On

“If a bunch of congressmen go to their teenagers and say they've banned their favorite app, there might be a lot of pushback and that could matter.” — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University
Mark Lemley
Source: CNN Business
July 20, 2020

Did You Protest Recently? Your Face Might Be in a Database

“Are the police definitely using facial recognition right now to track protesters? Nobody knows.” — Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology
Evan Selinger
Source: The Guardian
July 17, 2020

Nobody reads privacy policies. This senator wants lawmakers to stop pretending we do.

“Rather than saying, ‘Everything is permitted, and we'll try to legislate against certain things,’ it goes in the opposite direction.” — Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland
Frank Pasquale
Source: The Washington Post
June 18, 2020

Are Digital Giants Like Facebook Destructive by Design?

“Perhaps the problem is not irrationality, but instead it’s cold-eyed rationality in response to an observed failure in privacy protection.” — Ed Felton, Computer Scientist, Princeton University

 


Edward Felten
Source: Columbia Journalism Review’s: The Media Today
June 18, 2020

Contact Tracing – The Privacy Vs Urgency Dilemma for Governments in the Fight Against COVID-19

“Either you have a system unlikely to help people navigate their world, to leave their house and feel safe, or you have privacy trade-offs.”
 — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington
M. Ryan Calo
Source: South China Morning Post
June 4, 2020

Phishing Is Surging. Here's How To Spot Online Scams

“Scammers are acting under the guise of the government, hoping unsuspecting people will give out their bank account information.”
— Lorrie Cranor, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: NPR’s Here and Now
May 22, 2020

Coronavirus Tracing Apps Are Coming. Here’s How They Could Reshape Surveillance as We Know It

“We are repeatedly told that contact tracing apps and COVID-19-related surveillance are temporary measures for use until the pandemic passes. That’s likely to be a fantasy.”
— Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science at Northeastern University
Woodrow Hartzog
Source: Los Angeles Times
May 12, 2020
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TAP Blog

Taking a Broader Look at Privacy Remedies

In their new paper, “Breaking the Privacy Gridlock: A Broader Look at Remedies,” privacy experts Chris Hoofnagle, James Dempsey, Ira Rubinstein, and Katherine Strandburg examine regulatory structures outside the field of information privacy in order to identify enforcement and remedy structures that may be useful in developing federal consumer privacy legislation.

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

“It’s a scavenger hunt”: Usability of Websites’ Opt-Out and Data Deletion Choices

Privacy laws require websites to offer consumers options such as the choice to opt out of advertising or to delete account data. On many sites, these options are poorly labelled and hard to find.

By: Alessandro Acquisti, Florian Schaub, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Hana Habib, Jiamin Wang, Norman Sadeh, Sarah Pearman, Yixin Zou