13th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers

FREE (In-Person Only) February 16, 2023 @ 5:30 PM ET

Overview

FPF is excited to announce the 13th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers winners and in-person award ceremony! The award recognizes leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the U.S. Congress, at U.S. federal agencies, and international data protection authorities. 

About the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award

The selected papers highlight important work that analyzes current and emerging privacy issues and proposes achievable short-term solutions or new means of analysis that could lead to real-world policy solutions.

From the many nominated papers, the winning papers were selected by a diverse team of academics, advocates, and industry privacy professionals from FPF’s Advisory Board. This year’s papers explore smartphone platforms as privacy regulators, the concept of data loyalty, and global privacy regulation. The winning papers were ultimately selected because they contain solutions that are relevant for policymakers in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about the submission and review process, read our Call for Nominations

About the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Event

The winning authors will join FPF to present their work at an in-person-only event with policymakers from around the world, academics, and industry privacy professionals.

The event will be held on February 16, 2023, from 5:30 – 8:30 PM ET at the Senate Hart Building. The event is free and open to the general public. To register for the event, please click here.

We were honored to be joined by FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya, who will provide the keynote address. Thank you to Honorary Co-Hosts Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Co-Chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus and Senator Ed Markey.

To see the winning papers from this year’s event, click here.

To see the virtual event recording from last year’s 12th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers click here.

About the Winning Papers

The winners of the 13th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award are listed below. To learn more about the papers, judges, and authors, download the 2022 PPPM Digest (link coming soon!).  

  • Dismantling the “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race, Equity, and Online Data-Protection Reform by Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
    • This paper critically elaborates the “Black Opticon” — the discriminatory oversurveillance, discriminatory exclusion and discriminatory predation African Americans face online. The paper considers whether the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (2021), the Federal Data Protection Act (2021) and new resources for the Federal Trade Commission possibly meet imperatives of a race-conscious African American Online Equity Agenda, specifically designed to help dismantle the Black Opticon. The paper recommends further regulation of the digital economy in the interests of nondiscrimination, antiracism, and antisubordination.
  • Privacy and/or Trade by Anupam Chander, Georgetown University Law Center; and Paul M. Schwartz, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
    • This paper argues that international privacy and trade law developed together, but are now engaged in significant conflict; it predicts that current efforts to reconcile the two are likely to fail. The paper uncovers the forgotten and fateful history of the international regulation of privacy and trade that led to our current crisis and evaluates possible solutions. It also describes how more than sixty countries outside the European Union are now evaluating whether foreign countries have privacy laws that are adequate to receive personal data, as well as the risk that nonuniform application of cross-border data transfer rules will have ominous results for the data flows that power trade today. The paper proposes a Global Agreement on Privacy that would be enforced within the trade order, but with external data-privacy experts developing the treaty’s substantive norms.
  • Reproductive Health Care Data Free or For Sale: Post-Roe Surveillance and the ‘Three Corners’ of Privacy Legislation Needed by Eunice Park, Western State College of Law
    • Following the fall of Roe v. Wade, reproductive health care continues to be a political hot button. This paper argues that placing over-due limits on state surveillance can protect the privacy of personal health data. Currently, law enforcement can obtain reproductive health care data for “free” by subpoenas, orders, warrants and geofence warrants; and data “for sale” by data brokers, including sensitive geolocation information and data from fertility apps. The paper calls for federal legislation that provides privacy safeguards for reproductive health care data, including a specific carve-out for reproductive data, a prohibition against data brokers selling reproductive data and protections against the use of reproductive data in criminal cases if the data is obtained without a warrant.
  • Understanding the Challenges Data Protection Regulators Face: A Global Struggle Towards Implementation, Independence, & Enforcement by Pawel Popiel, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication; and Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Internews
    • With growing internet access in the Global South and rapidly expanding and integrating global data economies, Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) have become central actors in governing regional data flows. This paper examines the challenges facing DPAs in Africa and Latin America. Drawing on academic and policy literature and interviews with data protection regulators and civil society representatives from Africa and Latin America, this paper assesses challenges related to: 1) Establishing a DPA; 2) DPAs’ funding and capacity; 3) Independence in structure and decision-making; 4) Compliance and raising awareness; 5) Enforcement; 6) Tackling emerging policy issues; and 7) Collaboration within and across regions with other DPAs and with civil society. The report identifies two prominent factors as key obstacles to effective data protection oversight: resource constraints and threats to independence. The report also identifies essential best practices and recommendations aimed at tackling these challenges, including collaboration among regional DPAs and between DPAs and civil society.
  • Algorithms and Economic Justice: A Taxonomy of Harms and a Path Forward for the FTC by Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Federal Trade Commission; with Janice Kopec, Federal Trade Commission and Mohamad Batal, Federal Trade Commission
    • This paper offers three primary contributions to the existing literature. First, it provides a baseline taxonomy of algorithmic harms that portend injustice, describing both the harms themselves and the technical mechanisms that drive those harms. Second, it describes FTC Commissioner Slaughter’s view of how the Commission’s existing tools — including section 5 of the FTC Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and market studies under section 6(b) of the FTC Act — can and should be aggressively applied to thwart injustice. And finally, it explores how new legislation or an FTC rulemaking under section 18 of the FTC Act could help structurally address the harms generated by algorithmic decision-making.
  • Punitive Surveillance by Kate Weisburd, George Washington University Law School
    • Budget constraints, bipartisan desire to curb mass incarceration and the COVID-19 crisis in prisons have triggered state and federal officials to seek alternatives to incarceration. As a result, invasive electronic surveillance – such as GPS-equipped ankle monitors, smart phone tracking and suspicionless searches of electronic devices – is often touted as a humane substitute for incarceration. This paper analyzes “punitive surveillance” practices, which allow government officials, law enforcement and for-profit companies to track, record, share and analyze the location, biometric data and other meta-data of thousands of people on probation and parole. The paper describes how these practices deprive people of fundamental rights, including privacy, speech and liberty; the paper also examines several policy approaches that could most effectively limit – if not outright eliminate – punitive surveillance.
  • In addition to the winning papers, FPF selected for Honorable Mention: “The art of data privacy, an excerpt from the book, Protecting Your Privacy in a Data-Driven World, by Claire McKay Bowen, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, The Urban Institute.
  • FPF also selected for the Student Paper Award, Caught in quicksand? Compliance and Legitimacy Challenges In Using Regulatory Sandboxes To Manage Emerging Technologies by Walter G. Johnson, a Ph.D. Scholar with the Australian National University School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). A Student Paper Award Honorable Mention went to My Cookie is a phoenix: detection, measurement, and lawfulness of cookie respawning with browser fingerprinting by Nataliia Bielova, French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology; Imane Fouad, Inria Centre at the University of Lille; Arnaud Legout, Inria Center of Côte d’Azur University; and Cristiana Santos Utrecht University School of Law.

Agenda

Agenda

Time

Item

Speakers

5:30 pm –
5:40 pm ET

Welcome Remarks

  • Jules Polonetsky, CEO, Future of Privacy Forum
  • Stephanie Wong, Christopher Wolf Diversity Law Fellow, Future of Privacy Forum

5:40 pm –
6:00 pm ET

Opening Keynote Address

Alvaro Bedoya, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

6:00 pm –
6:15 pm ET

Dismantling the “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race, Equity, and Online Data-Protection Reform

This paper critically elaborates the “Black Opticon” — the discriminatory oversurveillance, discriminatory exclusion and discriminatory predation African Americans face online. The paper considers whether the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (2021), the Federal Data Protection Act (2021) and new resources for the Federal Trade Commission possibly meet imperatives of a race-conscious African American Online Equity Agenda, specifically designed to help dismantle the Black Opticon. The paper recommends further regulation of the digital economy in the interests of nondiscrimination, antiracism, and antisubordination.

Presenting Author

  • Anita L. Allen,  University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Discussant

  • TBA

6:15 pm –
6:30 pm ET

Privacy and/or Trade

This paper argues that international privacy and trade law developed together, but are now engaged in significant conflict; it predicts that current efforts to reconcile the two are likely to fail. The paper uncovers the forgotten and fateful history of the international regulation of privacy and trade that led to our current crisis and evaluates possible solutions. It also describes how more than sixty countries outside the European Union are now evaluating whether foreign countries have privacy laws that are adequate to receive personal data, as well as the risk that nonuniform application of cross-border data transfer rules will have ominous results for the data flows that power trade today. The paper proposes a Global Agreement on Privacy that would be enforced within the trade order, but with external data-privacy experts developing the treaty’s substantive norms.

Presenting Author

  • Anupam Chander, Georgetown University Law Center

Discussant

  • TBA

6:30 pm –
6:45 pm ET

Reproductive Health Care Data Free or For Sale: Post-Roe Surveillance and the ‘Three Corners’ of Privacy Legislation Needed

Following the fall of Roe v. Wade, reproductive health care continues to be a political hot button. This paper argues that placing over-due limits on state surveillance can protect the privacy of personal health data. Currently, law enforcement can obtain reproductive health care data for “free” by subpoenas, orders, warrants and geofence warrants; and data “for sale” by data brokers, including sensitive geolocation information and data from fertility apps. The paper calls for federal legislation that provides privacy safeguards for reproductive health care data, including a specific carve-out for reproductive data, a prohibition against data brokers selling reproductive data and protections against the use of reproductive data in criminal cases if the data is obtained without a warrant.

Presenting Author

  • Eunice Park, Western State College of Law

Discussant

  • TBA

6:45 pm –
7:00 pm ET

Understanding the Challenges Data Protection Regulators Face: A Global Struggle Towards Implementation, Independence, & Enforcement

With growing internet access in the Global South and rapidly expanding and integrating global data economies, Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) have become central actors in governing regional data flows. This paper examines the challenges facing DPAs in Africa and Latin America. Drawing on academic and policy literature and interviews with data protection regulators and civil society representatives from Africa and Latin America, this paper assesses challenges related to: 1) Establishing a DPA; 2) DPAs’ funding and capacity; 3) Independence in structure and decision-making; 4) Compliance and raising awareness; 5) Enforcement; 6) Tackling emerging policy issues; and 7) Collaboration within and across regions with other DPAs and with civil society. The report identifies two prominent factors as key obstacles to effective data protection oversight: resource constraints and threats to independence. The report also identifies essential best practices and recommendations aimed at tackling these challenges, including collaboration among regional DPAs and between DPAs and civil society. 

Presenting Co-Authors

  • Pawel Popiel, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
  • Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Internews

Discussant

  • TBA

7:00 pm –
7:15 pm ET

Algorithms and Economic Justice: A Taxonomy of Harms and a Path Forward for the FTC

This article offers three primary contributions to the existing literature. First, it provides a baseline taxonomy of algorithmic harms that portend injustice, describing both the harms themselves and the technical mechanisms that drive those harms. Second, it describes my view of how the FTC’s existing tools—including section 5 of the FTC Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and market studies under section 6(b) of the FTC Act—can and should be aggressively applied to thwart injustice. And finally, it explores how new legislation or an FTC rulemaking under section 18 of the FTC Act could help structurally address the harms generated by algorithmic decision-making.

Presenting Author

  • Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Federal Trade Commission

Discussant

  • Maneesha Mithal, Partner, Wilson Sonisi Goodrich & Rosati

7:15 pm –
7:30 pm ET

Punitive Surveillance

Budget constraints, bipartisan desire to curb mass incarceration and the COVID-19 crisis in prisons have triggered state and federal officials to seek alternatives to incarceration. As a result, invasive electronic surveillance – such as GPS-equipped ankle monitors, smart phone tracking and suspicionless searches of electronic devices – is often touted as a humane substitute for incarceration. This paper analyzes “punitive surveillance” practices, which allow government officials, law enforcement and for-profit companies to track, record, share and analyze the location, biometric data and other meta-data of thousands of people on probation and parole. The paper describes how these practices deprive people of fundamental rights, including privacy, speech and liberty; the paper also examines several policy approaches that could most effectively limit – if not outright eliminate – punitive surveillance.

Presenting Author

  • Kate Weisburd, George Washington University Law School

Discussant

  • TBA

7:30 pm –
7:35 pm ET

Closing Remarks

  • Stephanie Wong, Christopher Wolf Diversity Law Fellow, Future of Privacy Forum

7:30 pm –
8:30 pm ET

Wine Reception

Speakers

Alvaro Bedoya

Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

Alvaro Bedoya was the founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was also a visiting professor of law. He has been influential in research and policy at the intersection of privacy and civil rights, and co-authored a 2016 report on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement and the risks that it poses to privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights. He previously served as the first Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law after its founding in 2011, and Chief Counsel to former Senator Al Franken, of Minnesota. Prior to that, he was an associate at the law firm WilmerHale.

A naturalized immigrant born in Peru and raised in upstate New York, Bedoya previously co-founded the Esperanza Education Fund, a college scholarship for immigrant students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Bedoya graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served on the Yale Law Journal and received the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

Jules Polonetsky

Chief Executive Officer, FPF

Jules serves as CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. FPF is supported by the chief privacy officers of more than 200 leading companies, several foundations, as well as by an advisory board composed of the country’s leading academics and advocates. FPF’s current projects focus on AI and Ethics, Connected Cars, Health, Research Data, Smart Communities, Ad Tech, Youth, Ed Tech, Privacy Legislation and Enforcement, and Global Data Flows.

Stephanie Wong

Elise Berkower Fellow, FPF

Stephanie Wong is a recent graduate from Notre Dame Law School (NDLS), where she focused her studies on data privacy, emerging technology, and cyberlaw. During her time at NDLS, Stephanie served as President of the Student Bar Association and was a Responsible Innovation Fellow for Notre Dame’s Tech Ethics Center and the National Science Foundation. Through this fellowship, Stephanie advised on the development of AI technology in conjunction with responsible and ethical innovation.

Prior to law school, Stephanie worked at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. In these roles, she focused on the intersection of tech policy and civil rights. Stephanie has worked with the Asian American Pacific Islander Tech Table and supported the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 engagement efforts with communities of color.

Stephanie earned her B.A. from the University of Florida, where she studied Political Science and double-minored in English and Asian American Studies.