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.
An Australian court rules that a mortgage company can issue notice of a lien over Facebook. A court in the UK permits an injunction to be served via Twitter. A woman is arrested in Tennessee for “poking” someone over Facebook in violation of a protective order. Meanwhile, a 1978 provision of the Bankruptcy Code still provides that notice shall “be published at least once a week for three successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation.” New forms (and norms) of communication are both expanding and contracting the avenues for legally meaningful notice. Just how do we know, in this uncharted new landscape, when notice is enough? Read more » about Pokes, Tweets, And Legally Significant Notice
I've blogged before about the impact of anthropomorphic interfaces and devices. I've recently written an article on the subject. In it I point out that we're using voice-driven and other human-like interfaces more and more. They grab our attention and free up our hands for others tasks. And they can help us accept machines---such as personal or service robots---for a whole new set of tasks.
Psychologists and communications scholars will tell you, however, that our brains are hardwired to treat these "fake" people as though they were real, including with respect to the feeling of being observed and evaluated. That means that we react to such technology, behaviorally and physiologically, as though a person were really present.
This could be bad for privacy. Privacy scholars will tell you that its not good for us to always feel like we're surrounded by others. We need "moments offstage," to use Alan Westin's famous formulation. It could also be good for privacy, particularly on the Internet. Using avatars instead of privacy policies that no one reads or understands could help shore up the failing regime of online notice.
The very clever folks at the ACLU of Northern California have put out a Facebook quiz that helps users understand what quiz app developers can find out about them. Hint: it's a lot. This work builds on a June report on the same topic. Congrats! Read more » about Facebook Quiz About Facebook Quizzes
Everyone knows Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451. First published in 1953, Bradbury imagined a world in which government “firemen” could enter your home at any time and burn your books “for the good of humanity.” This deeply dystopic vision has, thankfully, not come to pass. Nor could it. In the U.S., the First and Fourth Amendments project against unreasonable government intrusion, especially where it implicates ideas. The state will never be able to enter your house and burn your books, even in an age of terrorism. I really believe that.
That’s why I was so disturbed to learn that Amazon has managed to “burn” two other famous dystopias, these ones by George Orwell, without implicating the Constitution. According to reports, people who had purchased Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm for Kindle woke up to find that Amazon had erased the e-books remotely. Read more » about Amazon Burns Orwell's E-Books
Everyday devices are getting smarter, more connected. Soon your refrigerator will tell you when it’s time to buy milk. But as long as the fridge is making suggestions, why not suggest a particular brand? And did you know you can save 10 cents if you also buy the same brand’s new ice cream?
Consumer Subject Review Boards by Ryan Calo
There are only a handful of reasons to study someone very closely. If you spot a tennis rival filming your practice, you can be reasonably sure that she is studying up on your style of play. Miss too many backhands and guess what you will encounter come match time. But not all careful scrutiny is about taking advantage. Doctors study patients to treat them. Good teachers follow students to see if they are learning. Social scientists study behavior in order to understand and improve the quality of human life. Read more » about Consumer Subject Review Boards
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wanted to dramatize how hard GPS surveillance would be for our nation’s founders to envision. It would take a “very tiny constable,” he noted in concurrence with the majority in United States v. Jones, “with incredible fortitude and patience” to stow away on a stage coach and monitor its owner’s movements. Read more » about Tiny Salespeople: Mediated Transactions and the Internet of Things
Jon Hanson and Douglas Kysar coined the term “market manipulation” in 1999 to describe how companies exploit the cognitive limitations of consumers. Everything costs $9.99 because consumers see the price as closer to $9 than $10. Although widely cited by academics, the concept of market manipulation has had only a modest impact on consumer protection law. Read more » about Digital Market Manipulation
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
"For Calo, whose work looks at online tracking for ad sales, the questions come down to consumer protection: How can we ensure that low-information consumers aren't being manipulated into deals and other purchases that are against their own interests?" Read more » about Do Helmet Cams Invade Privacy?
"Plus Professor Ryan Calo from the University of Washington tells us it's not so much about privacy and that instead we should worry about what profit-seeking corporations will do in the future to get people to part with their money." Read more » about Data mining or creepy snooping?
"A new paper by professor Ryan Calo at the University of Washington goes the furthest I have seen in elucidating the potential harms of digital-ad targeting. And his argument basically boils down to this: This isn't about the sanctity of the individual or even, strictly speaking, about privacy. This is about protecting consumers from profit-seeking corporations, who are gaining an insurmountable edge in their efforts to get people to part with their money." Read more » about What Does It Really Matter If Companies Are Tracking Us Online?
"Ryan Calo: I think that there are three key differences between robotics and the technologies that preceded robotics.
Antony Funnell: Professor Ryan Calo from the University of Washington Law School and an affiliate scholar at Stanford."
Listen to the full radio interview here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/robots3a-their-rights-and-legal-status/4868110#transcript Read more » about Robots: their rights and legal status
The Federal Trade Commission will hold a public workshop on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 in Washington, DC, to explore consumer privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of devices. The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as “The Internet of Things.” Read more » about Internet of Things : Privacy and Security in a Connected World
DARC is a multidisciplinary conference about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones—with an emphasis on civilian applications.
Attendees will take part in a far-ranging exploration of these technologies and see firsthand the latest advancements in aerial robotics. In addition to looking at the cultural impact, legal challenges, and business potential, we’ll also examine specific applications for drones including: agriculture, policing, wildlife conservation, weather, mapping, logistics, and more. Read more » about Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference
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.
Solutions to many pressing economic and societal challenges lie in better understanding data. New tools for analyzing disparate information sets, called Big Data, have revolutionized our ability to find signals amongst the noise. Big Data techniques hold promise for breakthroughs ranging from better health care, a cleaner environment, safer cities, and more effective marketing. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that the same advances will upend the power relationships between government, business and individuals, and lead to prosecutorial abuse, racial or other profiling, discrimination, redlining, overcriminalization, and other restricted freedoms. Read more » about Big Data and Privacy: Making Ends Meet
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
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