April 21, 2015
Video recording of talk given April 21, 2015 at Stanford Law School.
Why is it bad when the government or companies monitor our reading or web-surfing? We have intuitions that this kind of surveillance is bad, but have failed to explain why digital monitoring in an age of terror and innovation is really a problem. In Intellectual Privacy, Neil Richards offers a new way of thinking about monitoring of our thinking, reading, and communications, one that ensures that our ideas and values keep pace with our technologies.
Although we often think of privacy and free speech as being in conflict, Richards shows how privacy and free speech are often essential to each other. He explains the importance of 'intellectual privacy,' protection from surveillance or interference when we are engaged in the processes of generating ideas - thinking, reading, and speaking with confidantes before our ideas are ready for public consumption. In our digital age, in which we increasingly communicate, read, and think with the help of technologies that track us, increased protection for intellectual privacy has become an imperative.
A timely and provocative book on a subject that affects us all, Intellectual Privacy will radically reshape the debate about privacy and free speech in our digital age.
Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in privacy law, information law, and freedom of expression. He is a professor of law at Washington University School of Law, an affiliate scholar with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, a member of the Advisory Board of the Future of Privacy Forum, and a consultant and expert in privacy cases. He graduated in 1997 with degrees in law and history from the University of Virginia, and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
Professor Richards is the author of Intellectual Privacy (Oxford Press 2015). His many writings on privacy and civil liberties have appeared in many academic journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and the California Law Review. He has written for a more general audience in Time, Slate, Wired, CNN.com, Forbes, the Boston Review, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Professor Richards regularly speaks about privacy, technology, and civil liberties throughout the United States and Europe, and also appears frequently in the media. At Washington University, he teaches courses on privacy, free speech, and constitutional law, and is a past winner of the Washington University School of Law's Professor of the Year award. He was born in England, educated in the United States, and lives with his family in St. Louis. He is an avid cyclist and a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club.