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.
J.B. White, my former professor, has written a powerful essay (pages 98-103) on the evils of reducing the human experience to mere economics. Here is an excerpt:
"One particularly strong feature of the culture of consumption is an immense and relentless campaign, so pervasive and so normalized as to have become invisible, to persuade the public to accept and act on its premises. I refer here to the world of consumer advertising, especially to its apotheosis in television. This kind of advertising persuades people not only to buy this or that item, but more importantly, to accept and live by the whole infantile dream of the consumer economy. It is only in a narrow sense that advertisements compete with each other; in a deeper way they reinforce each other constantly."
Professor White retires this year following a long and distinguished career at Chicago and Michigan, where he held a joint appoint at the law school and English department. The full essay will appear in a book to be published by the University of Michigan Press in early 2009. Read more » about J.B. White On Advertising
It’s official: Wired Magazine has placed worrying about privacy on Gmail in the final column marked “expired.” (What’s “wired”? Worrying about privacy on Google Health.) Yet here I am, continuing to fret over Google’s eons-old practice of scanning incoming and outgoing messages in order to display contextual ads.
In my defense, I don’t think some evil Google Adwords employee is sitting in his brightly lit hexagonical reading through my email and twisting an ironic mustache. I recognize that it’s a dispassionate (for now) computer that scans for keywords and selects contextual ads.
My concern has to do with competition: Gmail puts Google’s advertisers in a position to use the content of their competitors’ emails to compete with them. Read more » about Gmailosaurus
Wired's Threat Level is reporting that a court (the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) has ordered Google "to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users' names and IP addresses, to Viacom, which is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube." (I believe the author means to refer to “user IDs,” not the proper names of the users.)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues on its website that such disclosure would violate the Video Privacy Protection Act. More disturbing still is the threat to a user's right to review material – including material at the core of the First Amendment – anonymously. See, e.g., Julie Cohen, “A Right to Read Anonymously: A Closer Look at 'Copyright Management' in Cyberspace,” 28 Conn. L. Rev. 981 (1996) (available online here).
I would think it clear that Viacom and its co-plaintiff should get, if anything, just that information necessary to determine what percentage of download activity involves copyrighted works.
It's tempting to view this move cynically as a dragged-out response to a long-standing complaint from the privacy community. My understanding, however, is that there has been internal debate at Google over whether to include a privacy link on the homepage for some time. One argument against such a link is that it conveys the sense that a given company respects privacy, irrespective of the actual content of the policy (which, as we know, often goes unread).
I'm not saying Google did this on purpose, but I think that many more people are likely to click on the privacy link, given that it appeared suddenly on the zealously sparse Google homepage. (Unless, of course, they get distracted by the fireworks.) Read more » about Google Adds Privacy Link, Videos
Threadbare as it already is, the privacy rubber may not even be meeting the road. A recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute implies a disconnect between the perception of privacy officers – charged with formulating company policy – and marketing departments – entrusted with actual custody of customer data – with respect to how consumer information may be used. Read more » about Hi Rubber. Have You Met My Friend, The Road?
Fewer people are applying to law school. They worry there will be no job waiting for them on the other side. And, indeed, some recent graduates are having a terrible time of it. Often, though, you see an increase in applications during economic slumps as students wait out the bad job market. Something, perhaps the beating law schools have been taking in the court of public opinion of late, is scaring folks off. Read more » about Why Now Is A Good Time To Apply To Law School
Thursday felt like drone day. The Federal Aviation Administration released both its roadmap (PDF) to integrate private drones into domestic airspace and the privacy requirements (PDF) that that will apply to the half-dozen locations selected to be testing areas for this integration. Read more » about The FAA's Drone Privacy Plan: Actually Pretty Sensible
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
"“The FAA intends to announce a plan for commercial operators to seek certificates of authorization in September of 2015, but that does not mean that drones will be able to fly right away,” says Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who specializes in robotics." Read more » about Delivered by Drones
"“This use of license-plate scanning differs from the way police contemplate using drones, and in many ways it’s probably worse,” Calo said. “This is more general, retroactive technology. They’re just driving around.”" Read more » about Police cameras busy snapping license plates
"Each year at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, organized by the UC Berkeley School of Law and the George Washington University (GWU) School of Law, scholars submit papers that are in progress, to be workshopped with a facilitated discussion amongst attendees. The idea is to bring together the academic privacy community with those working in industry, advocacy, law and government to further privacy thought leadership and facilitate dialogue. Read more » about Deception Is at the Heart of PLSC-Winning Papers
"Ryan Calo, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and advisory board member at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the language in Barclays' agreement was "poorly worded" and that he understood how it might sound alarming. But, he said, because the language specifies fraud protection, the bank is legally obligated to stick to that purpose." Read more » about Rumor: Banks are spying on your smartphone's location
"Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who specializes in new technologies and privacy, has suggested that gadgets like Google Glass or civilian drones could act as "privacy catalysts" and spur conversations and legal debates about privacy in the digital age. Calo believes the conversations are long overdue." Read more » about Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers
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
The Future of Privacy Forum, in partnership with the Application Developers Alliance and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, will host the App Developer Privacy Summit to discuss “The Complex App Ecosystem.” The event will examine the important privacy challenges and opportunities facing the app ecosystem and will include app developers, platforms, advertisers and privacy experts who will discuss how to ensure a trusted consumer environment for continued growth in the dynamic app market. Read more » about App Developer Privacy Summit
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