Publications

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.

Internet Platforms: Observations on Speech, Danger, and Money

Author(s): 
Daphne Keller
Publication Date: 
June 13, 2018
Publication Type: 
Academic Writing

Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content.

User Agreements Are Betraying You

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
June 5, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The user agreement has become a potent symbol of our asymmetric relationship with technology firms. For most of us, it’s our first interaction with a given company. We sign up and are asked to read the dreaded user agreement — a process that we know signifies some complex and inconveniently detrimental implications of using the service, but one that we choose to ignore.

Cybersecurity for the States: Lessons from Across America

Author(s): 
Brian Nussbaum
Publication Date: 
May 31, 2018
Publication Type: 
White Paper / Report

Authors

Natasha Cohen
Cybersecurity Policy Fellow

Brian Nussbaum
Cybersecurity Policy Fellow
 

Executive Summary

This study examines states’ efforts to advance cybersecurity efforts, enumerating lessons learned from an in-depth focus on three case studies of states that have seen demonstrable successes.

The FBI blunder on phone encryption, explained

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 30, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The FBI has been arguing for years that the approach of Apple and other companies that strongly encrypt phones is a big problem for law enforcement, which cannot get access to information it needs to catch criminals. Some days ago, these claims led to a big controversy when it turned out the FBI had been accidentally exaggerating the number of phones it couldn’t open for years.

The exit polls say Ireland has voted to legalize abortion with a smashing majority

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 25, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

An Irish Times exit poll says Ireland has voted to repeal the constitutional provision banning abortion with a crushing majority. The poll says that 68 percent voted yes and 32 percent voted against. People on both sides had expected a yes vote over the past couple of days; few had expected that the margin would be so decisive.

Here’s how Europe’s data privacy law could take down Facebook

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 25, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

On Friday, the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) privacy regulation goes into effect. Many articles have been written complaining that the regulation is ambiguous, confusing and difficult to implement.

The Constitution requires a census and State of the Union. Steve Ballmer wants to bring them up to date.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 23, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft and the creator of USAFacts, an organization dedicated to making government data sources more publicly accessible and easier to use. In an interview (which has been edited for length and style), I asked him about what USAFacts is doing and how it is trying to help people understand how the government spends its money.

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