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
But not every kind of robotmaker should be responsible for its creations. Ryan Calo of University of Washington Law School argues that to foster start-up-style innovation in home and service robots, the platforms have to be open, meaning that any app developer can write a program that teaches your floor-mopping robot to clean windows too — much as smartphones have been taught to do more than make calls. The fault for any hiccups would be with the app developer or the user. Read more » about Regulate the Robots
"“Google is just as concerned, if not more concerned, about public perception than it is about paying a few fines,” said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who studies privacy issues. “Lay people will take a settlement as being evidence of a mea culpa.”" Read more » about Google Hastens to Show Its Concern for Privacy
"According to University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo, drones may yield commercial and societal benefits and by targeting drone use rather than inadequate laws, we would be "missing out on the transformative potential of drones"." Read more » about Rand Paul filibusters the domestic drone
"“There will certainly be winners and losers,” said Ryan Calo, a professor of law at the University of Washington who focuses on robotics and public policy. “We’re talking about robots now because they are so versatile and affordable, and that will have profound affects on manufacturing, the entire supply chain and jobs.”" Read more » about New robots in the workplace: Job creators or job terminators?
"What are drones but flying smartphones, one app away from indispensable? We could see drones accompanying early morning joggers, taking sport, wildlife, and other photography to a new level, or mapping out hard-to-reach geographic terrain." Read more » about Bad laws would hurt good drones
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
On April 10, 2013, Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences welcomed CIS Affiliate Scholar Ryan Calo to campus for a discussion on law and emerging technology, with an emphasis on spyware for your brain. Read more » about The Center for Law and the Biosciences presents Ryan Calo
Hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations” Read more » about The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations
CIS Affiliate Scholar Ryan Calo interviews Neal Stephenson, author of Readme. Topics include privacy, virtual economics and security. Beth Cantrell, Greg Lastowka, and Tadayoshi Kohno also included in panel interview. This event was hosted by the University of Washington Law School. Read more » about Open Book Club: A Conversation With Neal Stephenson
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. This talk explores the various ways that robots implicate privacy and why, absent conscientious legal and design interventions, we may never realize the potential of this transformative technology. Read more » about Robots, Privacy & Society- Cal Poly