The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Big Data in Small Hands by Woodrow Hartzog & Evan Selinger
“Big data” can be defined as a problem-solving philosophy that leverages massive datasets and algorithmic analysis to extract “hidden information and surprising correlations.” Not only does big data pose a threat to traditional notions of privacy, but it also compromises socially shared information. This point remains underappreciated because our so-called public disclosures are not nearly as public as courts and policymakers have argued—at least, not yet. That is subject to change once big data becomes user friendly. Read more » about Big Data in Small Hands
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
In two recent decisions concerning copyright’s fair use doctrine, the Second Circuit addressed the lawfulness of incorporating one creative work into a new one. In both Cariou v Prince and Salinger v Colting, US District Judge Deborah Batts enjoined similar activity using nearly identical reasoning. But on appeal, the Second Circuit found fair use in the former and likely infringement in the latter. Read more » about Fair Use for the Rich and Fabulous?
Trademark strength, properly understood, refers to the scope of protection afforded a trademark by courts based on that mark’s inherent and acquired: (1) tendency to signify to consumers a consistent source of the products to which the mark is affixed; and (2) ability to influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions. The stronger the mark, the more uses the mark’s owner may exclude from the marketplace through a trademark infringement or dilution action. Read more » about Understanding Trademark Strength