IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner as well as the famous French philosopher Bernard Stiegler will be keynote speakers at the forthcoming conference “Investigating Transhumanisms and their Narratives” which will take place from Wednesday the 20th until Friday the 22nd of June 2018 in Lille. If you wish to participate in this ground-breaking event, please respond to the Call for Papers which you find on the following website: http://www.ethconference2018.com/eng/
Today, FPF announced the winners of the 8th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers (PPPM) Award. This Award recognizes leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the United States Congress, at U.S. federal agencies, and for data protection authorities abroad.
From many nominated privacy-related papers published in the last year, six were selected by Finalist Judges, after having been first evaluated highly by a diverse team of academics, advocates, and industry privacy professionals from FPF’s Advisory Board. Finalist Judges and Reviewers agreed that these papers demonstrate a thoughtful analysis of emerging issues and propose new means of analysis that can lead to real-world policy impact, making them “must-read” privacy scholarship for policymakers.
The winners of the 2017 PPPM Award are:
Ryan Calo is the Lane Powell and D. Wayne Gittinger Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Law. He is a faculty co-director (with Batya Friedman and Tadayoshi Kohno) of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, a unique, interdisciplinary research unit that spans the School of Law, Information School, and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. Professor Calo’s research on law and emerging technology appears in leading law reviews (California Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and Columbia Law Review) and technical publications (MIT Press, Nature, Artificial Intelligence) and is frequently referenced by the mainstream media (NPR, New York Times, Wall Street Journal). Professor Calo serves as an advisor to many organizations, including the AI Now Institute, and is a member of the R Street Institute’s board.The Undue Influence of Surveillance Technology Companies on Policing
by Elizabeth E. Joh, Professor of Law, UC Davis School of LawElizabeth E. Joh is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis School of Law, and is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Joh has written widely about policing, technology, and surveillance. Her scholarship has appeared in the Stanford Law Review, the California Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online. She has also provided commentary for the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the New York Times.
by Craig Konnoth, Associate Professor of Law, Colorado Law, University of Colorado, BoulderCraig Konnoth Professor Konnoth’s work lies at the intersection of health law and policy, bioethics, civil rights, and technology. His papers consider how health privacy burdens are created and distributed, how medical discourse is used both to enable and harm civil rights and autonomy, and how technology can be used to improve health outcomes. He has examined these issues in in contexts as diverse as religion and biblical counseling, consumer rights and transparency, FDA regulation, and collection of individual data. His publications have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Hastings Law Journal, the Penn Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the online companions to the Penn Law Review & the Washington & Lee Law Review, and as chapters in edited volumes.Before arriving at the University of Colorado, Craig was a Sharswood and Rudin Fellow at Penn Law School and NYU Medical School, where he taught health information law, health law, and LGBT health law and bioethics. Before that he was the Deputy Solicitor General and the Inaugural Earl Warren Fellow at the California Department of Justice where he litigated primarily before the United States Supreme Court, and also before the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Cases involved the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, Facebook privacy policies, and cellphone searches. Before moving into government, Craig was the R. Scott Hitt Fellow in Law & Policy at the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, where he focused on issues affecting same-sex partners, long term care, and Medicaid coverage issues, and drafted HIV rights legislation. He holds a J.D. from Yale, and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge. He clerked for Judge Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Designing Against Discrimination in Online Markets
by Karen Levy, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Science at Cornell University; and Solon Barocas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University
Karen Levy Karen Levy is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University and associated faculty at Cornell Law School. She researches how law and technology interact to regulate social life, with particular focus on social and organizational aspects of surveillance. Dr. Levy’s research analyzes the uses of data collection for social control in various contexts, from long-haul trucking to intimate relationships, with emphasis on inequality and marginalization. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University and a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Before joining Cornell, she was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU’s Information Law Institute and at the Data & Society Research Institute.
Solon Barocas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. His current research explores ethical and policy issues in artificial intelligence, particularly fairness in machine learning, methods for bringing accountability to automated decision-making, and the privacy implications of inference. He was previously a Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research, where he worked with the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI group, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. Solon completed his doctorate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where he remain a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Urban Science + Progress.
by Paul M. Schwartz, Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law, Berkeley Law School; and Karl-Nikolaus Peifer, Director of the Institute for Media Law and Communications Law of the University of Cologne and Director of the Institute for Broadcasting Law at the University of Cologne
Paul M. Schwartz is a leading international expert on information privacy law. He is Jefferson E. Peyser Professor at the University of California, Berkeley Law School and a director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Professor Schwarz is the author of many books, including the leading casebook, “Information Privacy Law,” and the distilled guide, “Privacy Law Fundamentals,” each with Daniel Solove. Schwartz’s over fifty articles have appeared in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review and California Law Review.
Professor Schwartz is co-reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Privacy Law Principles. He is a past recipient of the Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin and a Research Fellowship at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels. Schwartz is also a recipient of grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange. He is a member of the organizing committee of the Privacy + Security Forum, International Privacy + Security Forum, and Privacy Law Salon. Schwartz publishes on a wide array of privacy and technology topics including cloud computing, financial privacy, European data privacy law, and comparative privacy law.
Karl-Nikolaus Peifer is the Director of the Institute for Media Law and Communications Law of the University of Cologne and Director of the Institute for Broadcasting Law at the University of Cologne. He studied law, economics and romanic languages at the of Universities of Trier, Bonn, Hamburg and Kiel. In 2003 he was appointed to be a judge at the Court of Appeals in Hamm/Germany, in 2013 at the Court of Appeals in Cologne. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois in 2009 and at the University of California at Berkeley from 2009 to 2012. In 2011 he was among the experts heard during the sessions of the Parliamentary Commission “Internet und Digital Society”. His main fields of research are Intellectual Property and Media Law.
The Finalist Judges also selected three papers for Honorable Mention on the basis of their uniformly strong reviews from the Advisory Board.
The 2017 PPPM Honorable Mentions are:
- The Idea of ‘Emergent Properties’ in Data Privacy: Towards a Holistic Approach, by Samson Y. Esayas, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law
- Algorithmic Jim Crow by Margaret Hu, Associate Professor of Law, Washington & Lee Law
- Public Values, Private Infrastructure and the Internet of Things: The Case of Automobiles, by Deirdre K. Mulligan, Associate Professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley; and Kenneth A. Bamberger, Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology
Additionally, the 2017 Student Paper award goes to:
- The Market’s Law of Privacy: Case Studies in Privacy/Security Adoption, by Chetan Gupta, CIPP/US, UC Berkeley School of Law
The winning authors have been invited to join FPF and Honorary Co-Hosts Senator Edward J. Markey, and the Co-chairs of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, to present their work at the U.S. Senate with policymakers, academics, and industry privacy professionals. This annual event will be held on February 27, 2018, the day before the Federal Trade Commission’s PrivacyCon. FPF will subsequently publish a printed digest of summaries of the winning papers for distribution to policymakers, privacy professionals, and the public. RSVP here to join us.
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This Year’s Six Must-Read Privacy Papers: The Future of Privacy Forum Announces Recipients of Annual Privacy Award
Washington, DC – Today, the Future of Privacy Forum announced the winners of the 8th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award. The PPPM Award recognizes leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the U.S. Congress, at U.S. federal agencies, and for data protection authorities abroad. The winners of the 2017 PPPM Award are:
- Artificial Intelligence Policy: A Primer and Roadmap, by Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law
- The Public Information Fallacy, by Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University School of Law and College of Computer and Information Science
- The Undue Influence of Surveillance Technology Companies on Policing, by Elizabeth Joh, C. Davis School of Law
- Health Information Equity, by Craig Konnoth, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Designing Against Discrimination in Online Markets, by Karen Levy and Solon Barocas, Cornell University
- Transatlantic Data Privacy Law, by Paul Schwartz, UC Berkeley School of Law and Karl-Nikolaus Peifer, University of Cologne
From many nominated privacy-related papers published in the last year, these six were selected, after having been first evaluated highly by a diverse team of academics, advocates, and industry privacy professionals from FPF’s Advisory Board. It was agreed that these papers demonstrate a thoughtful analysis of emerging issues and propose new means of analysis that can lead to real-world policy impact, making them “must-read” privacy scholarship for policymakers.
Three papers were selected for Honorable Mention: The Idea of ‘Emergent Properties’ In Data Privacy: A Holistic Approach, by Samson Esayas, University of Oslo; Algorithmic Jim Crow, by Margaret Hu, Washington & Lee University School of Law; and Public Values, Private Infrastructure and the Internet of Things: The Case of Automobiles, by Deirdre Mulligan and Kenneth Bamberger, UC Berkeley.
At last year’s event, a new element to the program was introduced — the Student Paper Award. For this award, the student work must meet similar guidelines as those set for the general Call for Nominations. The following paper was selected for the Student Paper Award: The Market’s Law of Privacy: Case Studies in Privacy/Security Adoption, by Chetan Gupta, UC Berkeley.
“Academic scholarship can serve as a valuable resource for policymakers who are often wrestling with challenging privacy issues,” said Jules Polonetsky, FPF’s CEO. Now more than ever, topics such as artificial intelligence, algorithmic discrimination, connected cars, and transatlantic data flows, are at the forefront of the privacy debate. These papers are ‘must-reads’ for any thoughtful policymaker who wants to make an impact in this rapidly evolving space.”
The winning authors have been invited to join FPF and Honorary Co-Hosts Senator Edward J. Markey and Co-Chairs of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus to present their work at the U.S. Senate with policymakers, academics, and industry privacy professionals. This annual event will be held on February 27, 2018, the day before the Federal Trade Commission’s PrivacyCon. FPF will subsequently publish a printed digest of summaries of the winning papers for distribution to policymakers, privacy professionals, and the public.
PPPM is free, open to the general public, and widely attended. To RSVP, please visit privacypapersforpolicymakers.eventbrite.com.
This event is supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. 1654085. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. Learn more about FPF by visiting www.fpf.org.
The House Judiciary Committee is about to decide whether to approve a new version [.pdf] of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), a bill that would force online platforms to police their users’ speech more closely.
The new version of FOSTA improves a deeply problematic bill, but it still represents the same fundamentally flawed approach to fighting criminal activity online. Like the earlier version of FOSTA—and like SESTA (S. 1693), its sibling bill in the Senate—the new version of FOSTA would do nothing to fight traffickers. What it would do is create more risk of criminal and civil liability for online platforms, resulting in them pushing legitimate voices offline.
Closing Online Spaces Won’t End Trafficking
Automated filters can be useful as an aid to transparent, human moderation, but when they’re given the final say over who can and can’t speak online, innocent users are invariably pushed offline.
One of the most egregious problems with FOSTA and SESTA is the difficulty of determining whether a given posting online was created in aid of sex trafficking. Even if you can assess that a given posting is an advertisement for sex work—which can be far from obvious—how can a platform determine whether force or coercion played a role? Under SESTA, that uncertainty would force platforms to err on the side of censorship.
SESTA supporters consistently underestimate this difficulty, even suggesting it should be trivial for web platforms to build bots that remove posts in aid of sex trafficking but keep everything else up. That’s simply not true: automated filters can be useful as an aid to transparent, human moderation, but when they’re given the final say over who can and can’t speak online, innocent users are invariably pushed offline.
The House Judiciary Committee appears to have attempted to sidestep this problem, but it’s potentially created a larger problem in the process. That’s because the new version of FOSTA isn’t primarily a sex trafficking bill; it’s a prostitution bill. This bill would expand federal prostitution law such that online platforms would have to take down any posts that could potentially be in support of any sex work, regardless of whether there’s any indication of force or coercion, or whether minors were involved.
The bill includes increased penalties if a court finds that the offense constituted a violation of federal sex trafficking law, or that a platform facilitated prostitution of five or more people. As Professor Eric Goldman points out in his excellent analysis of the bill, the threshold of five prostitutes would implicate nearly any online platform that facilitates prostitution. If a prosecutor could convince a judge that a platform had had the “intent” to facilitate prostitution, then those enhanced penalties would be on the table.
It’s easy to see the effect that those extreme penalties would have on online speech. The bill would push platforms to become more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech, out of fear of criminal liability if a court found that they’d had the intent to facilitate prostitution. Ironically, such measures would make it more difficult for law enforcement to find and stop traffickers.
Section 230 Is Still Not Broken
Some supporters of SESTA and FOSTA wrongly claim that Section 230 (the law protecting online platforms from some types of liability for their users’ speech) prevents any civil lawsuits against online intermediaries for user-created material that they host. That’s not true. Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com set a standard for when a platform loses Section 230 immunity in civil litigation—when the intermediary has contributed to the illegal nature of the content. As the Ninth Circuit said: “A website helps to develop unlawful content, and thus falls within the exception to Section 230, if it contributes materially to the alleged illegality of the conduct.”
We think the authors of this new version of FOSTA attempted to acknowledge the Roommates.com line of cases that discuss when a platform will lose Section 230 immunity against a civil claim. However, courts assume that Congress doesn’t write superfluous language. With that in mind, the new FOSTA can be read to authorize civil claims against platforms for user-generated content beyond what existing case law has allowed. The bill would allow civil suits against platforms that were responsible for “the creation or development of all or part of the information or content provided through any interactive computer service.”
That distinction between contributing to part of the content and materially contributing to the illegal nature of the content is an extremely important one. The former could describe routine tasks that online community managers perform every day. It’s dangerous to pass a bill that could create civil liability for the everyday work of running a discussion board or other online platform. The liability would be too high to stay in business, particularly for nonprofit and community-based platforms.
Bottom Line: SESTA and FOSTA Are the Wrong Approach
With this new version of FOSTA, House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte and his colleagues on the Committee have clearly attempted to narrow the types of platforms that would be liable for third-party content that reflects sex trafficking. But a less bad bill is not the same thing as a good bill. Like SESTA, the proposed new FOSTA bill would result in platforms becoming more restrictive in how they manage their online communities. And like SESTA, it would do nothing to fight sex traffickers.
Supporting bills like FOSTA and SESTA might help members of Congress score political points with their constituents, but Congress must do better. It’s urgent that Congress seek real solutions to finding and apprehending sex traffickers, not creating more censorship online.