Privacy's Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

Privacy's Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

When

When: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 12:00pm

Where

Where: 
Room 282 at UNH Law - 2 White Street, Concord, NH

RSVP Today!

Free lunch will be served, RSVP by September 19th

Every day, Internet users interact with technologies designed to undermine their privacy. Social media apps, surveillance technologies, and the Internet of Things are all built in ways that make it hard to guard personal information. And the law says this is okay because it is up to users to protect themselves—even when the odds are deliber­ately stacked against them. In Privacy’s Blueprint, Woodrow Hartzog pushes back against this state of affairs, arguing that the law should require software and hardware makers to respect privacy in the design of their products. Current legal doctrine treats technology as though it were value-neutral: only the user decides whether it functions for good or ill. But this is notso. As Hartzog explains, popular digital tools are designed to expose people and manipulate users into disclosing personal information.

Against the often self-serving optimism of Silicon Valley and the inertia of tech evangelism, Hartzog contends that privacy gains will come from better rules for products, not users. The current model of regulating use fosters exploitation. Privacy’s Blueprint aims to correct this by developing the theoretical underpinnings of a new kind of privacy law responsive to the way people actually perceive and use digital technologies. The law can demand encryption. It can prohibit malicious interfaces that deceive users and leave them vulnerable. It can require safeguards against abuses of biometric surveillance. It can, in short, make the technology itself worthy of our trust.

Woodrow Hartzog is a Professor of Law and Computer Science at Northeastern University School of Law and the College of Computer and Information Science and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. His research on privacy, media, and robotics has been published in numerous law reviews and peer-reviewed publications such as the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, and Michigan Law Review. Has also written for popular publications such as The Guardian, Wired, The Atlantic, CNN and BBC. He is the author of Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies, published in 2018 by Harvard University Press.