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

Facebook’s Face-ID Database Could Be the Biggest in the World. Yes, It Should Worry Us.

"The payoff for Facebook is to have a bigger and broader sense of everybody’s preferences, both individually and collectively. That helps it not only target ads but target and develop services, too." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: Slate
July 9, 2019

Safe Space or Police State: How Far Should You Go in Monitoring Your Kids Online?

"I’m always nervous about any service provider that wants my password. That’s fundamentally insecure." — Lorrie Cranor, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: The Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2019

Deepfake Porn and the Ethics of Being Able to Watch Whatever Your Imagination Desires

"In the US, the legal options are small but potent if (big if) one has the funds to hire an attorney and one can find the creator. Defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress are potential claims." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: Metro UK
May 31, 2019

Facebook's Face Recognition Privacy Setting Missing for Some Users

"Since the company has one of the largest name-face databases in the world and the power to infer significant things about people whom it identifies, it’s especially important that it craft and execute appropriate policies for face recognition. All users should be able to access the same easy-to-use setting for preventing Facebook from recognizing them in photos and videos, and for deleting their templates." — Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology


Evan Selinger
Source: Consumer Reports
May 22, 2019

Serial Cyberstalker Could Avoid Prison Again Under Plea Deal

This article reports the plea bargain for Christopher Cleary, a man arrested for a history of terrorizing women he met over the internet. The plea deal with fits a pattern of lenient punishments common for cyberstalking and online harassment cases. Cyber law expert Danielle Citron, University of Maryland, is quoted.


Danielle Citron
Source: US News
May 22, 2019

You’re Not Alone When You’re on Google

For most people, that effort — to change how they search, how they buy stuff, how they connect with others and absorb news — is just too great. "There’s a sense that the fight to protect your data is unwinnable. You’d have to learn about other tools, it’s costly in time, and it might not even help, because your data is already out there."  — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University


Alessandro Acquisti
Source: The New York Times
May 17, 2019

A Record FTC Fine Won't Fix Facebook, Privacy Experts Say

"A billion isn't what it used to be. The problem with Facebook writing a check is that it’s the cost of doing business and not a deterrent." — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University


William E. Kovacic
Source: Consumer Reports
April 25, 2019

Lawmakers Want to Ban ‘Dark Patterns,’ the Web Designs Tech Companies Use to Manipulate You

"Our choice architectures are just completely muddled and clouded by the little tricks companies play to get you to consent, even though you may not want to." — Paul Ohm, Professor of Law, Georgetown University


Paul Ohm
Source: The Washington Post
April 9, 2019

Facebook's Privacy Meltdown After Cambridge Analytica Is Far from Over

"The fact is that if you want to target political advertisements precisely to move voters who have expressed interest in particular issues or share certain interests, there is an ideal tool to use that does not rely on pseudoscience. It’s called Facebook." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
March 18, 2019

Facebook Risks These Criminal Charges In Multiple Investigations Over Its Privacy Practices

"Filing false info with the FTC and other regulators can be criminally prosecuted. Under other statutes, there is sometimes a specific standard articulated for personal liability. A great deal will have to do with Zuckerberg’s personal direction of decisions." — Chris Hoofnagle, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley


Chris Hoofnagle
Source: Forbes
March 15, 2019
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TAP Blog

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

Privacy expert Omer Tene provides a review of the two-year-old GDPR: he highlights strengths of the EU’s sweeping data protection regulation, and also discusses aspects of the law that need more work.

Omer Tene

Upcoming Events

[Online] 2020 Privacy Law Scholars Conference

June 4, 2020, See event website

PrivacyCon 2020

July 21, 2020, Washington, DC

9th Annual BCLT Privacy Law Forum: Silicon Valley

October 9, 2020, East Palo Alto, CA

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

The Age of Weaponized Narrative

Technology and advances in psychology make it possible for other nations and groups to use “weaponized” narratives to undermine their adversaries. Increasingly, Russia and China are using these methods against the United States.

By: Braden Allenby