The goal of the Privacy & Technology Project (Project) is to help alter the relationship individuals have with their own information so that they may exercise some measure of authority and control. Put more simply is the Project’s mantra: Empowering Individuals to Protect Their Data with Implementable Solutions.
The Project pursues this goal by advocating a technical and paradigmatic shift to forge collaboration between those who develop the technology and those who craft the legal regimes that incentivize and shape those developments. Only such a partnership can create practical and implementable solutions that will realistically mesh with modern science while addressing the needs of individual users and society at large.
The Project publishes regular commentary, op-eds, and other information via the Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal Blog.
STRIKING A BALANCE
As technology permeates society through Internet sites, smartphones, cloud storage applications, and other modern conveniences, people shed a vast amount of information about themselves and others. Individuals, however, rarely have the opportunity to exercise authority over the information shed. There are no effective methods of knowing what information is collected and how it is used. Furthermore, once information is released into cyberspace, individuals are unable to decide the fate of that information, correct errors or rectify improper information releases when they occur.
Conversely, innovation and startups often require access to user information in order to build new tools and businesses. As a result, impenetrable barriers to collecting, managing, and sharing voluntarily provided user information will obstruct innovation. Thus, a balance is needed.
A UNIQUE FOCUS
The Project is a new model for the challenges of a new century. In contrast to the traditional model of a think-tank, where research is conducted as open-ended projects, considering issues as they arise across time, the Project seeks to provide clearly defined deliverables in terms of legislation, consumer products, and industry standards to benefit users, private industry, the government and society as a whole.
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
The Project will serve three functions. First, the Project will bring attorneys and technologists together to craft more informed industry standards, legislation, studies and other works that are implementable. Second, the Project will offer legal scholars a new approach to research, by enabling them to collaborate with technologists to create forward looking solutions. Finally, the Projectwill provide a training ground for new attorneys to learn about upcoming challenges in technology and privacy, in both the public and private sphere, and, in so doing, create a pool of attorneys more ably prepared to address issues posed by changes in technology in the future.
The Project focuses on issues related to consumer privacy. Examples of these issues include terms of service agreements, third-party access to user data, social networking websites, mobile applications, and industry standards for software and hardware.
In addition to applied research projects (more information coming 2013), the Privacy Project engages in community outreach through a variety of activities including the Bay Area Privacy Professionals Meetup, the UC Hastings Privacy Project: Privacy Tools for Startups, and the TechLunch Series.
If you have any questions, please contact the Executive Director, Charles Belle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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