New Books Published by TAP Scholars in 2021Publication Date: January 11, 2022 7 minute read
TAP scholars are at the forefront of the dialogue on the impact of technological innovation and tech policy issues. Below are books TAP scholars have written this year on privacy, AI, patents, antitrust, national security, and cloud computing.
Why Privacy Matters
By Neil Richards
Oxford University Press, December 1, 2021
In Why Privacy Matters, law professor Neil Richards explains the importance of privacy and why it matters in our lives and for a healthy society. He argues that the fight for privacy is a fight for power—because human information confers power over others. Privacy is not “dead,” he insists, but it is up for grabs. Unconstrained use of human information is undermining essential human values of identity, power, freedom, and trust. It is also putting at risk the future of democratic self-government. The fight for privacy will determine what our future will look like and whether it will remain fair and free. Professor Richards explains how good privacy rules and strategies can help protect privacy from the forces undermining it.
Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence
By Kate Crawford
Yale University Press, April 6, 2021
In Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence, Professor Kate Crawford explores how artificial intelligence (AI) is made and the economic, political, cultural, and historical forces that shape it. She looks at how AI’s expanding carbon footprint has affected the earth, how AI has affected human labor through surveillance and control, how current practices of working with data in AI raise ethical and privacy issues and magnify inequity. She considers how AI is used as a tool of state power. Today’s AI systems are built with the logics of capital, policing, and militarization—but Professor Crawford argues these logics can and should be challenged. Calls for data protection, labor rights, climate justice, and racial equality are interconnected movements that should be heard together.
Read the TAP blog “Kate Crawford's New Book Examines the Power, Politics, and Planetary Costs of AI.”
Redesigning AI – Work, Democracy, and Justice in the Age of Automation
Anchor chapter titled, “Redesigning AI” written by Daron Acemoglu
Boston Review, May 25, 2021
In Redesigning AI, Professor of Economics Daron Acemoglu argues that research in artificial intelligence (AI) currently pays too much attention to the technological hurdles ahead and not enough attention to its disruptive effects on the fabric of society. Specifically, AI has displaced workers while failing to create opportunities for them—and this is threatening to undermine democratic governance. This book brings together economists, legal scholars, policy makers, and developers to debate these challenges and consider what tech companies can do to ensure the advancement of AI does not further diminish the economic prospects of workers.
Read the TAP blog “Daron Acemoglu: The Direction of the Future of AI Is in Our Hands.”
The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet
By Joseph Turow
Yale University Press, May 18, 2021
In The Voice Catchers, leading communications scholar Professor Joseph Turow examines the voice intelligence industry and exposes how artificial intelligence is enabling personalized marketing and discrimination through voice analysis. Voice profiling is seen by marketers as integral to the future of marketing, but Professor Turow sees a dark side. He argues that it’s not clear how accurate voice profiling is when it comes to emotions. Also, emotions and forms of stress may be culturally biased and prone to error. He further notes many opportunities for discrimination if, as some scientists claim, it is possible to tell a person’s height, weight, race, gender, and health through voice profiling. Professor Turow warns that we need to act soon to ensure that voice profiling is constrained before it becomes too integrated into daily life and too pervasive to control. He suggests regulating voice authentication and prohibiting voice profiling in marketers’ interactions with individuals, political campaigns, and government activities without a warrant.
Read the TAP blog “Shhhh,, They’re Listening – Inside the Coming Voice-Profiling Revolution.” Republished with permission from The Conversation.
The Case for Patents
By Daniel Spulber
World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated, April 2, 2021
In The Case for Patents, Professor Daniel Spulber defends the patent rights system against skeptics who view patents as an impediment—particularly in new high-tech sectors. He explains how patents are property rights that promote the spread and adaptation of new technologies, spurring economic growth to the benefit of the American public. In spite its flaws, he finds our patent system is more effective than other government-centered mechanism to induce inventions. Professor Spulber reminds us of the need to protect patent rights to facilitate markets for technology.
Read the TAP blog “Northwestern Professor Daniel Spulber Makes a Case for Patents.”
How Antitrust Failed Workers
By Eric Posner
Oxford University Press; 1st edition (September 10, 2021)
In How Antitrust Failed Workers, law professor Eric Posner documents the failure of antitrust law to address labor market concentration. In highly concentrated labor markets, employers have power to push wages below the competitive rate. Professor Posner argues that the same antitrust law used to combat anticompetitive practices in product markets also applies to anticompetitive conduct by employers in labor markets. Antitrust law can and should protect workers too. The problem has been that antitrust has almost never been applied to labor markets. Professor Posner argues for some reforms, but his primary argument is that existing antitrust law remains an untapped resource and he lays out ways in which the law can be adapted to labor markets.
Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump
By Karen Greenberg
Princeton University Press, Aug 24, 2021
In Subtle Tools, leading expert on national security, terrorism, and civil liberties Karen Greenberg describes the “subtle tools” that were forged under George W. Bush in the name of national security: imprecise language, bureaucratic confusion, secrecy, and the bypassing of procedural and legal norms. She reveals how these subtle tools were used on the domestic front to separate families at the border, suppress Black Lives Matter protests, and attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election—and how they have imperiled the very foundations of democracy, from the separation of powers and transparency in government to adherence to the Constitution. The subtle tools of national security, she argues, have threated democracy itself.
Cloud Computing Law
Edited by Christopher Millard
Oxford University Press; 2nd edition 2021
This expanded and updated new edition of Cloud Computing Law, edited by Professor Christopher Millard, explains how cloud computing works and provides an accessible analysis of the key legal and regulatory issues that surround cloud computing. The topics covered include contracts for cloud services, information ownership and licensing, privacy and data protection, standards and competition law, law enforcement access to data, and international tax models for cloud and other digital services. The book concludes with an assessment of what needs to be done for effective cloud governance frameworks to be developed.