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Law and justice

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Continuities, Ruptures, and Causation in the History of American Legal Culture

by  Amalia D. Kessler  

Henry Vanderlyn, an antebellum lawyer from the small town of Oxford, New York, whom I discuss in Inventing American Exceptionalism, kept a daily diary for a thirty-year period and was in the habit of regaling visitors with selected readings from his collected thoughts. Confident that his visitors eagerly attended to his every word, Vanderlyn never…

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Data Institutionalism

A Reply to Andrew Woods
by  Zachary D. Clopton  

In Against Data Exceptionalism, Andrew Keane Woods explores “one of the greatest societal and technological shifts in recent years,” which manifests in the “same old” questions about government power. The global cloud is an important feature of modern technological life that has significant consequences for individual privacy, law enforcement, and governance. Yet, as Woods suggests,…

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Isolating Litigants

A Response to Pamela Bookman
by  Alan M. Trammell  

This Essay is a response to Pamela K. Bookman’s Litigation Isolationism.

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Widening the Aperture on Fourth Amendment Interests

A Comment on Orin Kerr’s The Fourth Amendment and the Global Internet
by  David G. Delaney  

Introduction In The Fourth Amendment and the Global Internet, Orin Kerr highlights several important Fourth Amendment questions that few courts have addressed. But in “offer[ing] a general framework for applying the Fourth Amendment to a global computer network in a way that maintains the existing territorial conception of the Fourth Amendment,” Kerr’s article focuses too narrowly…

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Privacy and Big Data

by  Symposium Issue  

Although the solutions to many modern economic and societal challenges may be found in better understanding data, the dramatic increase in the amount and variety of data collection poses serious concerns about infringements on privacy. In our 2013 Symposium Issue, experts weigh in on these important questions at the intersection of big data and privacy.

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Public vs. Nonpublic Data

The Benefits of Administrative Control
by  Yianni Lagos & Jules Polonetsky  

This Essay attempts to frame the conversation around de-identification. De-identification is a process used to prevent a person’s identity from being connected with information. Organizations de-identify data for a range of reasons. Companies may have promised “anonymity” to individuals before collecting their personal information, data protection laws may restrict the sharing of personal data, and,…

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Consumer Subject Review Boards

A Thought Experiment
by  Ryan Calo  

The adequacy of consumer privacy law in America is a constant topic of debate. The majority position is that United States privacy law is a “patchwork,” that the dominant model of notice and choice has broken down,[1] and that decades of self-regulation have left the fox in charge of the henhouse. A minority position chronicles…

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Privacy Substitutes

by  Jonathan Mayer & Arvind Narayanan  

Introduction Debates over information privacy are often framed as an inescapable conflict between competing interests: a lucrative or beneficial technology, as against privacy risks to consumers. Policy remedies traditionally take the rigid form of either a complete ban, no regulation, or an intermediate zone of modest notice and choice mechanisms. We believe these approaches are…

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Big Data in Small Hands

by  Woodrow Hartzog & Evan Selinger  

“Big data” can be defined as a problem-solving philosophy that leverages massive datasets and algorithmic analysis to extract “hidden information and surprising correlations.”[1] Not only does big data pose a threat to traditional notions of privacy, but it also compromises socially shared information. This point remains underappreciated because our so-called public disclosures are not nearly…

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Relational Big Data

by  Karen E.C. Levy  

“Big Data” has attracted considerable public attention of late, garnering press coverage both optimistic and dystopian in tone. Some of the stories we tell about big data treat it as a computational panacea—a key to unlock the mysteries of the human genome, to crunch away the problems of urban living, or to elucidate hidden patterns…

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Prediction, Preemption, Presumption

How Big Data Threatens Big Picture Privacy
by  Ian Kerr & Jessica Earle  

Big data’s big utopia was personified towards the end of 2012. In perhaps the most underplayed tech moment in the first dozen years of the new millennium, Google brought The Singularity nearer,[1] hiring Ray Kurzweil not as its chief futurist but as its director of engineering. The man the Wall Street Journal dubbed a restless…

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Big Data and Its Exclusions

by  Jonas Lerman  

Legal debates over the “big data” revolution currently focus on the risks of inclusion: the privacy and civil liberties consequences of being swept up in big data’s net. This Essay takes a different approach, focusing on the risks of exclusion: the threats big data poses to those whom it overlooks. Billions of people worldwide remain…

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Buying and Selling Privacy

Big Data's Different Burdens and Benefits
by  Joseph W. Jerome  

Big data is transforming individual privacy—and not in equal ways for all. We are increasingly dependent upon technologies, which in turn need our personal information in order to function. This reciprocal relationship has made it incredibly difficult for individuals to make informed decisions about what to keep private. Perhaps more important, the privacy considerations at…

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Three Paradoxes of Big Data

by  Neil M. Richards & Jonathan H. King  

Introduction Big data is all the rage. Its proponents tout the use of sophisticated analytics to mine large data sets for insight as the solution to many of our society’s problems. These big data evangelists insist that data-driven decisionmaking can now give us better predictions in areas ranging from college admissions to dating to hiring.[1]…

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It’s Not Privacy, and It’s Not Fair

by  Cynthia Dwork & Deirdre K. Mulligan  

Classification is the foundation of targeting and tailoring information and experiences to individuals. Big data promises—or threatens—to bring classification to an increasing range of human activity. While many companies and government agencies foster an illusion that classification is (or should be) an area of absolute algorithmic rule—that decisions are neutral, organic, and even automatically rendered…

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Privacy and Big Data

Making Ends Meet
by  Jules Polonetsky & Omer Tene  

Introduction How should privacy risks be weighed against big data rewards? The recent controversy over leaked documents revealing the massive scope of data collection, analysis, and use by the NSA and possibly other national security organizations has hurled to the forefront of public attention the delicate balance between privacy risks and big data opportunities.[1] The…

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Evaluating Merger Enforcement During the Obama Administration

by  Jonathan B. Baker & Carl Shapiro  

This essay is a reply to Daniel A. Crane’s Has the Obama Justice Department Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement?.

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The Dead Past

by  Alex Kozinski  

I must start out with a confession: When it comes to technology, I’m what you might call a troglodyte. I don’t own a Kindle or an iPad or an iPhone or a Blackberry. I don’t have an avatar or even voicemail. I don’t text. I don’t reject technology altogether: I do have a typewriter—an electric…

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The Right to Be Forgotten

by  Jeffrey Rosen  

At the end of January, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, announced the European Commission’s proposal to create a sweeping new privacy right—the “right to be forgotten.” The right, which has been hotly debated in Europe for the past few years, has finally been codified as part of a broad…

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Famous for Fifteen People

Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook
by  Simon J. Frankel, Laura Brookover & Stephen Satterfield  

A recent case in the Northern District of California, Fraley v. Facebook,[1] recalls singer-songwriter Momus’s prescient parody of Andy Warhol: “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen people.”[2] Although Momus was discussing the revolution in the recording and distribution of music made possible by digital technologies that allowed performers outside the mainstream to…

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