Ryan Calo is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and a former research director at CIS. A nationally recognized expert in law and emerging technology, Ryan's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Wired Magazine, and other news outlets. Ryan serves on several advisory committees, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the Future of Privacy Forum. He co-chairs the American Bar Association Committee on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and serves on the program committee of National Robotics Week.
Judge Richard Posner took the occasion of the Boston bombing to remind us of his view that privacy should lose out to other values. Privacy, argues Judge Posner, is largely about concealing truths “that, if known, would make it more difficult for us to achieve our personal goals.” For instance: privacy helps the victims of domestic violence achieve their personal goal of living free from fear; it helps the elderly achieve their personal goal of staying off of marketing “sucker lists;” and it helps children achieve their personal goal of avoiding sexual predators online. Read more » about Judge Posner’s Surveillance Argument Would Not Withstand An Economic Analysis
As if we don’t have enough to worry about, now there’s spyware for your brain. Or, there could be. Researchers at Oxford, Geneva, and Berkeley have created a proof of concept for using commercially available brain-computer interfaces to discover private facts about today's gamers. Read more » about "Brain Spyware"
I’ve blogged on these pages before about the claim, popularized by Larry Lessig, that “code is law.” During the Concurring Opinions symposium on Jonathan Zittrain’s 2010 book The Future of The Internet (And How To Stop It), I cataloged the senses in which architecture or “code” is said to constitute a form of regulation. “Primary” architecture refers to altering a physical or digital environment to stop conduct before it happens. Speed bumps are a classic example. “Secondary” architecture instead alters an environment in order to make conduct harder to get away with—for instance, by installing a traffic light camera or forcing a communications network to build an entry point for law enforcement. Read more » about Is Forensics Law?
I have yet to sit down and read Evgeny Morozov’s new book, To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism. I certainly found his last book very thought provoking. But I did get a chance to read an op ed Morozov recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal with the provocative title “Is Smart Making Us Dumb?” The piece draws a distinction between mobile and other devices that are “good smart” and ones that are “bad smart.” Good smart devices “leave us in complete control of the situation and seek to enhance our decision-making by providing more information.” Morozov offers the example of a teapot that relays the state of the energy grid. Whereas bad smart ones “make certain choices and behaviors impossible,” a theme Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, and others famously develop under the rubric of "code." Read more » about Good Versus Bad Smart: Some Thoughts On Morozov's Op Ed
I wrote a new essay entitled “Code, Nudge, or Notice?” that might interest CIS readers. The essay compares side-by-side three ways that the government tries to influence citizen behavior short of making it illegal. It uses contemporary examples, like the graphic warnings the FDA wants to put on cigarettes, to make the point that it sometimes hard to sort regulations into neat categories like “architecture,” “libertarian paternalism,” or “mandatory disclosure” (code, nudge, or notice). Instead, I argue that regulators should focus on the more fundamental difference between helping people and hindering them. Along the way, I make the point that all of forensics may be a kind of “code” that turns an ordinary location into a crime scene—sort of like putting a traffic camera up at an intersection only after someone runs the red light. Thoughts warmly welcome. Here is the abstract: Read more » about To Code, Nudge, Or Notice, That Is The Question
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
“The Future of Drones In America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations”
March 20, 2013
Full PDF available on the Judiciary website.
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF RYAN CALO
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF LAW Read more » about The Future of Drones In America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations
"University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo, who studies emerging technologies, said companies have federal, state and common laws that protect proprietary information. After reading the amendment, Calo said language such as “work-related misconduct” was broad." Read more » about Washington House Panel Rejects Push For Passwords
""There is a subjective element of harm to being, living in a society where you feel like you're under surveillance," Ryan Calo, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law, said." Read more » about Critics Question Uncle Sam's Ammo Buying Spree
"In an influential 2011 article, "The Drone as Privacy Catalyst," law professor Ryan Calo predicted that the dystopian images that drones evoke could spur much-needed reforms to American privacy law." Read more » about The More Americans Know About Drones, the Less They Like Them
"There are very sophisticated chemical sensors or other sorts of sensor technology that permit you to do what the dog-sniffing cases pretty much allow, which is only detect contraband." Read more » about Supreme Court: Cops Need A Warrant To Use Drug Dogs Outside A Home
"Cameras mounted on buildings that have facial recognition capability, for example, needn't be lofted on a flying drone to be a privacy concern, Ryan Calo, an associate professor of law at the University of Washington explained to NBC News." Read more » about Bloomberg to NYC: Domestic drones are inevitable
Presented by the Center for Law and the Biosciences
Brain-computer interfaces are on the rise, but they may be vulnerable to hacking that reveals users' private information. Join us as Ryan Calo discusses the privacy risks of this emerging technology.
This event is free and open to the public, and will feature lunch from Net Appetit.
In celebration of National Robotics Week, the Silicon Valley Robot Block Party returns to the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab @ Stanford on Wednesday, April 10 2013, from 1 to 6pm. Read more » about Robot Block Party 2013
The program committee for We Robot: Getting Down To Business invites you to join us for the second annual robotics and the law conference to take place April 8 and 9 at Stanford Law School. This year’s event is focused on the immediate commercial prospects of robotics and will include panels and papers on a wide variety of topics, including: Read more » about We Robot: Getting Down to Business
Technology Reporter Steven Henn leads a conversation on new innovations in face recognition technology and the legal & ethical challenges they raise with two leading privacy experts: University of Washington Law's Ryan Calo and Carnegie Mellon University's Alessandro Acquisti
It is not hard to imagine why robots raise privacy concerns. Practically by definition, robots are equipped with the ability to sense, process, and record the world around them. Robots can go places humans cannot go, see things humans cannot see. Robots are, first and foremost, a human instrument. And after industrial manufacturing, the principal use to which we’ve put that instrument has been surveillance. Read more » about Robots, Privacy & Society
Liar Liar Pants on Fire! Examining the Constitutionality of Enhanced Robo-Interrogation (Updated), Kristen Thomasen
2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium
Co-Hosted by the Center for Internet and Society
February 2, 2012
Welcome & Drones Discussion
- Stephen Morris, MLB Company
- Ryan Calo, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet and Society
- Catherine Crump, American Civil Liberties Union Read more » about Drones - Privacy Paradox: Privacy and Its Conflicting Values (Video)
Stanford Center for Internet and Society Talk - January 12, 2012
A conversation with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill and CIS Director of Privacy and Robotics Ryan Calo. Topics include the Federal Trade Commission's initiatives to protect consumer privacy.
This event is part of Data Privacy Day 2012.
Julie Brill was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission April 6, 2010, to a term that expires on September 25, 2016.