Academic Writing

Online labor markets may look competitive. They aren’t.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
August 2, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

People often think that online markets are far more efficient and competitive than traditional ones. This may not be so. In a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper, Arindrajit Dube, Jeff Jacobs, Suresh Naidu and Siddharth Suri find that a highly important online labor market is characterized by power relations so that workers lose out, and the people and organizations who hire them enjoy market power. I asked Suresh Naidu what this research means.

Europe has just hit Google with a record $5 billion fine. Expect fireworks.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
July 18, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The European Commission, which administers antitrust policy in the European Union, has just hit Google with a record fine of 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion U.S.). This fine is intended to punish Google for the way in which it has structured the market for its operating system. Here’s what you need to know.

The massive fine is for “tying” the operating system to specific applications.

Exigent Circumstances: iOS 12’s USB Restricted Mode and Warrantless iPhone Access

Author(s): 
Riana Pfefferkorn
Publication Date: 
June 22, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Apple recently confirmed the introduction of a new feature called “USB Restricted Mode” in the latest version of the iPhone’s mobile operating system, iOS 12. If enabled in the user’s settings, USB Restricted Mode will disable data transfer from the iPhone over the Lightning cable once the phone has been locked for an hour unless the phone’s password is entered.

How Facebook Programmed Our Relatives

Author(s): 
Brett Frischmann
Publication Date: 
June 21, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Three years ago, on his birthday, a law professor watched his e-mail inbox fill with Facebook notifications indicating that friends had posted messages on his wall. The messages made him sad. The clogged inbox was annoying, but what really upset him was having disclosed his birth date to Facebook in the first place. It’s not necessary for social networking or to comply with privacy laws, as some people mistakenly believe. He hadn't paid much attention when he signed up—as with most electronic contracts, there was no room for negotiation or deliberation about terms.

Amazon Needs to Stop Providing Facial Recognition Tech for the Government

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
June 21, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Imagine a technology that is potently, uniquely dangerous — something so inherently toxic that it deserves to be completely rejected, banned, and stigmatized. Something so pernicious that regulation cannot adequately protect citizens from its effects.

That technology is already here. It is facial recognition technology, and its dangers are so great that it must be rejected entirely.

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